Torres del Paine National Park

La Union Town and Commune, tourist places

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

  La Union is a small city, part of the commune of the same name and capital of the Ranco Province in the Chilean Region of Los Rios. Its population is 26,000 inhabitants and its location 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 industry, its great livestock and agricultural activity.
The name ("The Union") is supposed 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 old native Mapudungun language of the word "dagllipulli" or "daglipulli", the original name of the territory where the city is located and which means "Union of Spirits". 
As in all of the South of Chile, La Union offers a wonderful destination for the tourist who seeks to enjoy ecotourism and adventure travel. Here is a list of what to do and visit in this beautiful part of 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, created in 2010, it is a protected natural area managed by CONAF, located about 52 km from the city of La Unión. Its objective is to preserve the rich nature of the Cordillera de la Costa, which is home to multiple species of endemic fauna and flora. 
A special attraction for visitors is the Sendero Alerce Milenario (Millenary Larch trail) which leads to the oldest tree in South America, also known as "the great grandfather" (3,500 years old), approximately 12 meters high and 7 meters in diameter, 12 people holding hands are needed to surround the tree. For centuries it was hidden from humans since it is located in a deep ravine, a location that helped it survive countless fires. It was discovered in 1971 and declared a Natural Monument in 1976.

Plaza de La Concordia

Image: Municipalidad de la Union                     
The Plaza de la Concordia (main square) maintains its original layout since its creation in 1827 and is surrounded by architectural constructions dating from the time of German colonization.
Because of its environment, tranquility, the maintenance of the green areas and old trees is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. Since the nineteenth century, its now renovated, beautiful water fountain has been a meeting and gathering place for both locals and visitors.

Puerto Nuevo 

Puerto Nuevo, Lago Ranco, Chile.
Lakeside village located on the southern shore of Lago Ranco, 45 km from La Union, through a completely paved road, where you can enjoy wonderful landscapes. 
As with all the towns around the lake, Puerto Nuevo is a welcoming, beautiful place with alternatives to eat, beach, camping and water activities. It has an extensive beach enabled for swimming and sun bathing, ideal for enjoying outdoor leisure activities in contact with nature.

Playa Hueicolla

80 km west of La Union, towards the coast, is the village and beach of Hueicolla, which means "water mirror" in Huilliche language With a 4-kilometer long beach, it is characterized by its calm waters, surrounded by native vegetation, ancient, large extension virgin forests and a small cove of artisanal fishermen. From the beach you can see Cerro Parque El Mirador, 1,231 meters above sea level, one of the highest peaks in the Cordillera de la Costa with forest of magnificent cypresses, rauli beech and ferns.

Casa Kuc and Truchas Restaurant

Casa Kuc is a shop and cafeteria located in a privileged place within Los Chilcos Farm, formed by local craftwomen of the Ranco Lake basin. The cafeteria has very tasty cakes and pastry products, the handicraft store offers woven items, leathers, wool, blankets, wooden articles.

A few meters away is the "Truchas" restaurant, where trout are raised in ponds, which you can catch yourself and then eat. The restaurant is a very spacious place, on the edge of a small lagoon with paths and bridges that connect with the El Molino Museum and Casa Kuc.

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 Union. 
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