2017 Vaya Photo Contest Winners!
Once again this year we received some exceptional photos from our travelers, taken in locations ranging from South America’s bustling metropolises to far-flung islands hundreds of miles offshore, from the Amazon rainforest to windswept Patagonia. Thank you to everyone who submitted photos. We had a difficult time choosing our favorites, but here, in no specific order, are the winners of this year’s photo contest. Each will receive a Patagonia fleece jacket or vest. Congratulations!
The Rano Kau crater on Easter Island, Chile
We were wowed by this panoramic shot of Easter Island’s Rano Kau, a lake in the crater of the extinct volcano that gave birth to the island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known locally as Rapa Nui and one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands, best known for its Moai statues and enigmatic civilizations, Easter Island is now a special territory of Chile. The island lies 2000 miles off the coast of South America in the South Pacific.
Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
A perennial favorite for photographers, Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park offers some of the continent’s most spectacular scenery. The Paine massif that you see here lies towards the southern end of the Southern Patagonia Ice Cap, which stretches for almost two hundred miles toward the north on the far side of these mountains. Millions of years of sculpting and erosion by the glaciers and elements have left us this magnificent national park in Patagonia.
View from the sundeck of the Seaman Journey, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
This photo encapsulates why we love small expedition ships for Galapagos cruising, such as the 16-passenger Seaman Journey: they allow for tranquil, intimate interactions with the natural surroundings and wildlife. The Galapagos lie 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and were formed (and continue to be altered) by undersea volcanoes. They range in age from 650,000 years to just over 3 million years, and are known for the wide variety of unique animal species that helped inspire Charles Darwin to form the theory of natural selection. (He visited the islands on the HMS Beagle in 1835.)