department of El Salvador

Not to be confused with La Union, a province in the Philippines.

La Unión is a department (governmental division or province) in El Salvador. The capital and largest city is Santa Rosa de Lima, which serves as a departure point for bus travel to northeastern El Salvador and crossing into neighboring Honduras.

Get inEdit

There are daily motorboats from the small town of Potosi, not far from Chinandega in Nicaragua to La Unión, thereby bypassing Honduras. Motorboats are operated by Ruta del Golfo and the journey takes around two hours. The 1 La Unión ferry terminal is located at the northern end of Avenida Norte.

Get aroundEdit




As in much of El Salvador, the cities boast many pupusería stands, selling the pupusa — a popular fried corn cake stuffed with meat, cheese, squash flower (loroco) or a combination of these fillings. The seafood also is recommended by many.

Money mattersEdit

The northeastern region is an especially rural part of a developing country. It's hopeless to expect recognition of the same world-famous travelers' checks that are a recommended part of travel in even the most remote parts of, say, Mexico. Cashing traveler's checks in most parts of the Americas normally requires only showing a valid passport and countersignature; in December, 2004, an attempt to cash these same checks in northeastern El Salvador met with the following obstacles:

  • (1) The neighboring department of Morazán had no banks at all.
  • (2) Santa Rosa de Lima, in La Unión, had two banks across the street from each other:
    • The first, Banco Cuscatlán, with branches in three Central American countries, would not cash traveler's checks, period. The bank insisted that "to cash checks," one had to have an account at the bank; no distinction was made between a traveler's check and a personal check.
    • Banco Comercio required their teller to observe the following procedure:
(1) Write on each and every check a long list of 12 discrete pieces of information that included but was not limited to (a) checkholder's name, (b) checkholder's passport number, (c) checkholder's driver's license number, (d) checkholder's home address, including street, city, state, and postal code, and (e) checkholder's home phone number.
(2) Obtain holder's signature on each check and on a separate deposit slip for each check.
(3) Stamp the back of each check with a deposit stamp — including careful, time-consuming positioning of the stamp so that the space for writing the account number would not be stamped on the check.

They also initially insisted on seeing the traveler's check purchase receipts, and were skeptical of the explanation that the issuing company clearly instructs checkholders not to carry the receipts along on the trip.




  • 1 Comfort Inn Real La Unión, KM 2.8 Calle a Playitas, Carretera Panamericana, +503 2665 6565, fax: +503 2665 6566. 76 rooms and 7 bedrooms equipped with kitchen, living room, sofa, refrigerator, among others. Business Center 24 hour laundry service, gym, bar, restaurant and 3 conference rooms. $70-90 per night.

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