About 58 kilometers north of Villa Mañihuales, overlooking the Río Cisnes canyon in the shadow of 2,095-meter Cerro Alto Nevado, the Villa Amengual dates from 1983; it owes its existence to the Carretera Austral. A few kilometers south, an eastbound gravel road climbs the valley to the settlement of La Tapera and a rarely used border crossing to Argentina.
Distinguished by its shingled chapel, built in the Chilote immigrant style, Villa Amengual is a popular stop for cyclists, as one of few places with food and accommodations between Mañihuales and Puerto Puyuhuapi, another 60 kilometers north over rugged terrain.
Residencial El Encanto (Castro 33-A, US$6 pp) and Residencial El Paso (Arias 12, US$6 pp) both have simple rooms with shared bath and serve meals.
Amengual has a spiffy new Oficina de Información Turística, open in summer only, that doubles as a crafts shop.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition