2022 Vaya Photo Contest Winners
Nothing delights us more than receiving photos captured by our travelers throughout the year. Whether it’s up close encounters with wildlife, sunsets over remote and little visited corners of our natural world, or new friends made while traveling, your images transport us—and we look forward to seeing each and every one!
To all of you who sent us your travel photos in 2022, we thank you. It has been our pleasure to relive some of our favorite destinations through your eyes.
It was challenging to narrow it down to just three images from among all the submissions. But the votes are in (it was a tie!) and the three images with the most votes are below, presented in no particular order.
All winning photographers will receive a new Patagonia Better Sweater. An additional selection of images meriting Honorable Mention have also been showcased below for everyone to enjoy.
Thank you to all who participated. We look forward to seeing your trip photos in 2023!
Photo Location: Pantanal, Brazil (June 2022)
The Pantanal spreads across three countries and more than 42 million acres, and is the largest tropical wetland in the world. Visiting it can be a surreal experience. Seasonal floodplains fed by the tributaries of the Paraguay River produce a highly productive fish nursery that in turn supports an estimated 650 bird species along with a wealth of other wildlife, from caiman to jaguars, giant anteaters, giant otters, and more. According to photographer Steve Neptune, one other profound power is also at work here: “It can be challenging to inspire awe in a 15-year-old boy, but the Pantanal delivered.”
Photo Location: Serengeti, Tanzania (August 2022)
There is a reason the name Serengeti is practically synonymous with the notion of safari. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Tanzania and covers just under 6,000 square miles of premiere game viewing terrain, including open grasslands, Acacia woodlands, and seasonal rivers. Bordered to the north by the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, the Serengeti offers ideal year-round habitat for all kinds of game (including big cats!) and is home to the world-famous Great Migration, an annual – and deadly – trek undertaken by millions of wildebeest and other herd animals between the two parks.
Photo Location: Pantanal, Brazil (August 2022)
Although not quite as famous as the Amazon rainforest to the north, South America’s Pantanal is one of the planet’s most biologically rich environments and quite remarkable in its own right. Sprawled across Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay, the tropical wetlands are a veritable haven for wildlife, providing a home to more than 4,700 plant and animal species, including high concentrations of iconic regional species like jaguar and caiman. Intimate river safaris offer the chance to spot wildlife along the water’s edge while exploring the wetlands by boat. For those as lucky as Ken, it may also mean a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph jaguars in the wild!
Galapagos Islands (July 2022)
Antarctica (November 2022)
Atacama Desert, Chile (January 2022)
Peru (January 2022)
South Africa & Zimbabwe (September 2022)
Galapagos Islands (July 2022)
Amazon, Ecuador (August 2022)
And So Many More
A variety of other wonderful images were submitted (and received votes). Our job is a tough one! We’ve included a few more below for your enjoyment.