Torres del Paine National Park

La Union, Town and Municipality, Tourist Attractions

Lago Ranco, south of Chile.
A view of Lago Ranco

La Union is a small city that belongs to the municipality of the same name and is the capital of Ranco Province, in the Los Rios Region of Chile. It has a population of 26,000 and is located 40 km north of Osorno and 80 km southeast of Valdivia, the regional capital.  The town is well known in Chile for the development of the dairy and brewing industries, its large livestock and agricultural activity.
The name ("The Union") is said to come from an important geographical accident in the area: the confluence of the Llollelhue and Radimadi rivers, tributaries of the Bueno River. However, another version says that La Union is the translation from the ancient indigenous language Mapudungun of the word "dagllipulli" or "daglipulli", the original name of the territory where the city is located, which means "union of spirits".
Like all of southern Chile, La Union is a wonderful destination for the ecotourism and adventure traveler. Here is a list of things to do and visit in this beautiful part of the Los Rios Region.

Tourist Attractions in La Union: 

Alerce Costero National Park

Alerce Costero National Park
Millenary Larch Tree
Image: Diario El Ranco                                      
Parque Nacional Alerce Costero, established in 2010, is a protected natural area managed by CONAF, situated approximately 52 km from the city of La Unión. Its primary objective is to preserve the rich biodiversity of the Cordillera de la Costa, which harbors numerous species of endemic flora and fauna.

A notable attraction for visitors is the Sendero Alerce Milenario (Millenary Larch Trail), leading to the oldest tree in South America, famously known as the "Great Grandfather". This ancient tree, estimated to be 3,500 years old, stands approximately 12 meters tall and 7 meters in diameter, requiring 12 people holding hands to encircle it. Hidden from human eyes for centuries within a deep ravine, this location shielded it from countless fires. Discovered in 1971, it was subsequently declared a natural monument in 1976.

Plaza de La Concordia

Image: Municipalidad de la Union                     

The Plaza de la Concordia (main square) has retained its original layout since its establishment in 1827 and is encircled by architectural constructions dating back to the era of German colonization.

Renowned for its serene environment, well-preserved green spaces, and ancient trees, it is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque squares in the country. Since the nineteenth century, its charming water fountain, now beautifully renovated, has served as a gathering spot for both locals and tourists alike.


Puerto Nuevo 

Puerto Nuevo, Lago Ranco, Chile.

Lakeside village located on the western shore of Lago Ranco, 45 km from La Unión, accessible via a fully paved road, where you can enjoy wonderful landscapes.

Like all the towns around the lake, Puerto Nuevo is a welcoming, beautiful place offering dining options, beaches, camping grounds, and water activities. It boasts an extensive beach suitable for swimming and sunbathing, perfect for indulging in outdoor leisure activities amidst nature.

Playa Hueicolla

80 kilometers west of La Union, towards the coast, lies the village and beach of Hueicolla, which means "water mirror" in the Huilliche language. Stretching for 4 kilometers, this beach is characterized by its calm waters, surrounded by native vegetation, ancient, expansive virgin forests, and a small cove inhabited by artisanal fishermen. From the beach, one can admire Cerro Parque El Mirador, standing at 1,231 meters above sea level. This peak is one of the highest in the Cordillera de la Costa and is adorned with magnificent cypress trees, rauli beech, and ferns.

Casa Kuc and Truchas Restaurant

Casa Kuc is a shop and cafeteria located in a privileged location within the Los Chilcos farm, created by local artisans from the Lake Ranco basin. The cafeteria offers delicious cakes and pastries, while the handicraft shop showcases woven articles, leather goods, wool products, blankets, and wooden items.

A few meters away lies the restaurant "Truchas", where trout are bred in ponds that visitors can catch and eat. The restaurant is situated in a spacious area on the edge of a small lagoon, with paths and bridges connecting it to the El Molino Museum and Casa Kuc.

Museo Molino Los Chilcos

The Molino Los Chilcos Museum is located in an old flour mill, which adds a special charm to the experience of traveling back in time more than 100 years.

By exploring the exhibit, tourists can immerse themselves in the history of the milling industry in Chile, learning about traditional milling techniques and the crucial role the mills played in the daily lives of local communities. In addition, the exhibition offers interactive exhibits that show the flour production process, from the arrival of the grain to the final processing. Along with the historical exhibits, the museum can offer hands-on activities, such as cooking workshops or demonstrations of traditional crafts related to milling.

With its location in a picturesque rural setting, visitors can also enjoy beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, such as hiking or picnics near the river.

Address: Fundo Los Chilcos Los Ríos Region / La Unión Visiting hours: Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location and Distances  
La Union is located in Los Rios Region, southern Chile and is the capital of the Ranco Province. To get to the commune there are no direct flights, you can arrive by air to the Cañal Bajo Carlos Hott Siebert Airport in Osorno or the Pichoy Airport in Valdivia, from there you have to take a bus or drive to La Unión. 
By land, either from Santiago or any other city, you can get there by Ruta 5 Sur (Panamerican Highway) since the town is only 10 km away off the road. The distance by land to other cities are:
Santiago de Chile: 904 km.
Valdivia (Regional capital): 85 km.
Temuco: 227 km.
Osorno: 45 km.
Puerto Montt: 146 km.   
Location of La Union