Torres del Paine, a national park in the province of Última Esperanza and the region Magallanes y Antártica Chilena, is 927 square miles of pristine mountains, glaciers, lakes, wind and silence.
Because southern Chile is an archipelago, there is limited road access to the north. The first thing I noticed when I exited the airport in Punta Arenas was the backdrop of silence. Up in TdP (180 miles north of Punta Arenas) where there are far fewer people and vehicles, at times all you can hear is the wind, various birds, a bee, and the distant rushing of glacial rivers.
My first day I did a beautiful hike to the Mirador Las Torres.
The way down
I like to think the trees look all gnarled because the austral winds rip them from the mountainside, but it may have more to do with the forest fires they had in the park in 2011.