La Union Travel Guide
La Union is a little municipality to be found seven kilometers from Cartagena, and just 13 kilometers from the San Javier Airport. During the 1850’s, four smaller villages merged together to be a single township and the result is somehow a bigger territory called La Union.
The town of La Union experienced the occupancy of the Phoenicians, Romans, Goths, and the Moors during the early centuries primarily because of the mines that the land possessed. The metal works that this town used to come up with were exceptional in quality and design. The finished products, along with the silver bits and pieces, were brought to Cartagena, to be exported to many European countries. There is a mining museum to be found in the old miner’s institute that displays attractive crystals, and historic semi-precious stones. Apart from producing large quantities of mines, this town also used to be a fishing port.
Only memories, the historical buildings, and a museum will remind us of the huge mining trade that used to transpire here in the town of La Union. Through the passing of decades, several of the structures have aged awkwardly. On the other hand, the buildings will soon be refurbished to bring back their earlier splendor. This is a part of the enhancement program set by the local government.
Today, La Union has managed to hold a safe and sound environment, undamaged. The town already has a good variety of shops and restaurants that readily caters to the slowly increasing number of tourists. Even so, tourism is not yet a full blown industry here, and may still be considered as a quieter settlement compared to La Union’s neighboring towns. It is a fact that La Union is undergoing major improvements. Foremost projects for La Union being handled by the government are the setting up of train stations and hospital advancements.
La Union enjoys the typical healthy tropical weather of Costa Calida towns. It also has a few beaches where you can have a much-adored tan. For people who are looking for more beach and sports action, La Union is expediently just a short drive from La Manga resorts, and the series of Cartagena beaches.
The month of August is a recommended time to visit La Union. It is during this season that the whole town celebrates the Flamenco Festival and the Mining Festival with much fervor.
The early occupants of La Union, from over two thousand years ago, were drawn to this area because of the mines that surrounded it. In fact, large magnitudes of silver, lead, copper ores and other mines have kept this town alive for several centuries. The Phoenicians, Romans, Goths, Arabs and a succession of Christian rulers have all benefited from this natural treasure. As an indication of how massive the mining industry used to be, get this: The Phoenicians (also known as Carthaginians) traded tons of silver to finance their attack on Rome which was piloted by Hannibal Barca in the company of his elephants, way back in the year 221 B.C.
For numerous eras, the mines kept the area prominent among several European countries. Just decades ago, many other mining industries from other parts of the world have sprung up, and led to the slow decline of the trading bustle in La Union. Not only that, the machines that kept the industry going were way too dated and no longer provided their full purpose. At some point, the aged equipments were just left on the hills to grow moldy. Surely, these items are among the things to see in the Mining Museum of La Union.
The Flamenco Dance is very much equated with La Union and the mining industry. Legend has it that the Flamenco dance steps originated from the early mining activities. The story says that the Gypsies were just one of the several groups that were enslaved underground during the dark ages. They were all prohibited to talk as they labored deep underneath the earth. Hence, they would communicate by tapping out messages with the rhythms of their hammers and mining tools. To make the long story short, the steps and the beats evolved from there, and became an assortment of Flamenco dance movements. This makes La Union an authority when it comes to Flamenco. The Festival Internacional del Cante de las Minas is commemorated every year throughout the first week of August, and has become a much sought event among Flamenco enthusiasts from all parts of the world.
Parks to Visit
Take yourself back in time as you explore the different themed areas that the I has in store. Enter Ancient Egypt, the Mythological Era of Greece, the warm and cheerful disposition of Iberia, survive the currents undergone by the Argonauts in the “island” theme, and lose yourself in the breathtaking vertical drop in the “Roman” theme.
The Terra Mitica Theme Park is about an hour drive for La Union. It is a particularly nice destination, truly a worthy stopover especially if you are traveling with your whole family. Surely, the whole Terra Mitica experience will bring you into so many different worlds all in one day, and you will never get enough of it. It is to be found at the Costa Calida territory particularly in Benidorm and in spite of its distance from La Union, it is easily accessible by bus, car, or even train.
The Terra Mitica Park is open from the end of March through to end of September, plus peak times in October, November & December.