Minas del Aguacate

Useful Information

(9.968870, -84.472240)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: L=365 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Minas del Aguacate, San Mateo, Tel: +506-8895-1931.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1851 gold mine La Union opened.
1900 end of mining.
1994 mine restored by the Community Development Association.
2001 declared Historical Architectural Heritage.


Igneous volcanic rocks from the Pliocene contain veins of gold bearing quartz.


Minas del Aguacate (Avocado Mines), also known as Tunel San Francesco, is a former gold mine tunnel close to the small village San Mateo. The first 365 m of the tunnel were renovated and equipped with electric light. The tunnel is an adit, water flows out on the floor, so gum boot are a good idea. We also recommend helmet and headlamp. The electric light at the entrance is probably only on at special occasions, so we strongly recommend bringing enough lamps.

While this is actually a sort of show mine, it seems to struggle with the lack of visitors, and most people actually come to the place to simply bath in the river. As far as we know there are no regular open hours, some tell that the tunnels are open but dangerous, others tell that they are closed, probably different tunnels are meant. As a matter of fact we cannot provide sufficient information on this site. If you visit the side, please send an update.

The gold in the area was first reported by Bishop García Jerez, head of the Diocese of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, who visited the area in 1815. In the 1830s there was a sort of small gold rush, resulting on the introduction of a milling machine by a British company, which allowed the separation of gold with quicksilver. The Mina La Unión (Union mine) was established in 1850 by uniting several mines. Mining continued on a low scale until 1900.