Award winning photos and travel quotes

It’s time for everyone’s favorite newsletter of the year, the Knowmad Annual Photo Contest! So many travelers have returned from their 2023 custom adventures in South America with incredible stories and photos to share and inspire. We’ve categorized the photos into a wide variety of topics to give you a little taste of it all. From breathtaking landscapes, to heartwarming and hilarious traveler portraits, to jaw dropping encounters with local fauna, Knowmad travelers have experienced it all this year. All category winners will receive Knowmad gear and the overall Knowmad Adventures Grand Prize Winner will win a three day stay at Hacienda Zuleta.

Scroll down to see the results and ignite your wanderlust…




Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Family horseback ride in the sand.

Honorable Mention

Travel is something that brings our family close together. Our daughters now have an insatiable curiosity to see the world, learn about new cultures, and have special time together as a family. This trip was perfect. Thank you!!

—Steve and Dayna, Steamboat Springs, CO | Custom Chile & Argentina Trip


Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Left - marathon runners is Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Right - Snowy hike in Argentina

Third Place

(Left) Running a marathon in Patagonia wasn’t adventure enough for Suji and Tai, they also added a weeks-long Custom Chile Trip.

Tai and I had so many funny memorable moments with tons of inside jokes and I KNOW this trip will be forever on our favorite trips ever!…Knowmad did an excellent job and I will definitely use you again and refer everyone to you.

—Suji, Raleigh, NC | Custom Chile Trip

Second Place

(Right) “4 seasons/1 day

— Barb, Morton Grove, IL | Custom Argentina Trip

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Travelers hiking in Torres del Paine National Park

First Place

This was our last hike at Torres Del Paine. It was obviously special to us as we wanted to hike together on our last hike. It was called Laguna Larga . It was a typical Patagonia hike: rain, wind, sun! But the clouds cleared enough for us to see The massifs! This picture was taken with extraordinary winds blowing. As you can see, we are in the athletic positions, trying to stay upright…I cannot fully articulate how special this trip was for my dad and me. Thank you so much for an incredible trip. Your attention to detail, personalized recommendations, and outstanding guides were truly exceptional.

—Davis, Shenandoah, TX | Argentina & Chile Adventure



Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Left - couple in front of Moai on Easter Island or Rapa Nui. Right - Man in Argentina doing a headstand on a horse.

Third Place

(Left) “The most iconic, amazing, and unforgettable excursion on Rapa Nui was the quarry Rano Raraku where Moai are found abandoned in various stages of construction.

—Timothy, Minneapolis, MN | Custom Chile Trip

Second Place

(Right) “Soon a gaucho arrived on a horse — the horse whisperer and his horse. There followed one of the most amazing “performances” we have ever seen, the whisperer and horse going through a series of complex and intricate moves that were both startling and eye-popping. Total confidence and trust between man and animal. The two ended literally wrapped up in one another! We rarely use the word “awesome”,… But when, after taking a well-earned bow, the gaucho and his horse rode off, we turned to one another and said “That was awesome”. And it was.

—Ron & Russell, Sherman, CN | Custom Antarctica & Argentina Adventure

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Amaru man in Peru with traditional clothing

First Place

My favorite photo is of the gentleman from the Amaru Community who greeted us like old friends and taught us so much about their way of life. They took us to one of their fields for a planting ceremony, showed us how they work the soil and plant the potatoes using this tool. He laughed when I asked for a photo but quickly struck a pose.

—JoAnn, Edgemont, SD | Custom Peru Trip



Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Split image: Alpaca overlooking Machu Picchu and colonial church in Cusco

Third Place

(Right) “(This) photo was taken while looking up at one of the beautiful old cathedrals in Cusco as we strolled through the plaza. It is an amazing city with wonders hidden down every street. I feel like you could spend years there and never see it all.

—JoAnn, Edgemont, SD | Custom Peru Trip

Second Place

(Left) This photo was snapped while overlooking Machu Picchu on the 2023 South Dakota State University Custom Peru Trip

—Sydney, Brookings, SD | Custom Peru Trip

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Palifito houses in Castro, Chiloe

First Place

A mystic cityscape only found in Casto! This photo was taken on the Chilean island of Chiloe.

—Linda, Harrisburg, PA | Custom Chile Trip



Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Sunset at Iguazu Falls in Brazil

Honorable Mention

Sunset at Iguazu Falls

—Whitney, Denver, NC | Custom Brazil Trip

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Third place winner for landscape, Chile. Rainbow in Torres Del Paine National Park

Third Place

Explora in Torres del Paine – what a spot! You told us about the views, but you have to see it to believe it! I’m sending a couple of photos – sunrise and nighttime from our bedroom window.

—Susan, Salt Lake City, UT | Custom Chile Trip

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Second place winner for landscape, Chile. Fjords and the Aguila Glacier

Second Place

This is from our 3rd day and came on an excursion to the Aguila Glacier. We ended up with a perfect day and calm waters to provide another stunning reflection.

—Cameron, Franklin, TN | Extended Fjords at the End of the World Trip

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: First place winner for landscape, Argentina. Perito Moreno glacier

First Place

A picture is worth a thousand words. “Perito Moreno Glacier

—Terry, Wayzata, MN | Custom Argentina Trip



Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Third place winner for portrait, Peru. Kayaking on Lake Titicaca

Third Place

Bob and me kayaking on Lake Titicaca….The trip was simply amazing”.

—Cyd, Minneapolis, MN | Custom Peru Trip

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Second place winner for portrait, Chile. Windy day

Second Place

Patagonia wind does not mix with long hair

—Jamie, Park City, UT | Custom Chile Trip

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: First place winner for portrait, Argentina

First Place

John and I thoroughly enjoyed the Argentina trip that you planned for us. We will take those memories with us for a lifetime.

—John & Karla, Atlanta, GA | Custom Argentina Trip



Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Third place winner for flora, Peru.

Third Place

Tree roots…we spent one day in the Amazon forest. None of us have ever been so drenched in sweat. There is no air circulation in the forest and we were sweating from pores we didn’t know we had…The time on the river was really almost a religious experience for me.

—Lou, Glen Rock, NJ | Custom Peru Trip

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Second place winner, Chile

Second Place

Views through the clouds on the French Valley trek, Torres del Paine

—Jo, Brooklyn, NY | Custom Antarctica Trip with Chile & Argentina Land Extensions

Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: First place for flora, Ecuador, Galapagos

First Place

Kim and Pansy took a Custom Galapagos & Mainland Ecuador mother-daughter trip to celebrate a 70th birthday milestone! They both shared many beautiful photos and comments about their trip, but here was one of our favorites that captures so much of what they shared.

…this trip was to help my mom celebrate turning 70. My mom has never been a particularly outdoorsy person, and I think she was a little apprehensive about the amount of activities we would be doing. However, she was up for trying everything, including snorkeling despite her adamant claim she was not a fan of water sports. I am immensely proud of her to have done this trip while at this stage of her life.

These pictures are from a vigorous hike we did at Mashpi, which included hiking up to a waterfall and then down a river which at times had a pretty swift current due to rains the night before. My mom is small, and I was a little worried about her comfort while doing this hike, but whenever I looked for her, she had a huge smile on her face … I am so grateful to our guides, Gabriel and Nixon, who made sure that my mom felt safe and comfortable on this hike, and especially to Nixon who literally held her hand almost the entire way! The photo is of my mom and Nixon strolling down the river like old friends. Mom is happy and smiling in all of our photos, but I can see she’s happiest and proud in the ones from this particular hike.

Coming in at nearly 70 years old, 5’ and 100 lbs, I never felt I couldn’t do what everyone else did regardless if it was walking the beaches or traversing the lava terrain of the Galapagos. The guides took such good care of me, trekking along beside me and giving me much appreciated information and support.

It was the trip of a lifetime!!!

—Kim & Pansy, Houston & Sugarland, TX | Custom Galapagos & Mainland Ecuador Trip



Knowmad Adventures Photo Contest: Third place winner for fauna, Argentina

Third Place

Trout fishing in Lago Desierto on their Custom Argentina Trip… “as you can see Matthew had much more luck (skill!!) than me.

—Doug, Lyme, NH | Custom Argentina Trip

You’ll get him next time, Doug!

Knowmad Adventures photo contest second place for fauna. Penguin colony in antartica

Second Place

Antarctica defies description; it has to be experienced…It is vast and stunningly beautiful – the landscape, the glaciers, the icebergs, the water, the abundant and varied wildlife, the sky, the fog, the cold, the wind, the quiet…. And us. We were barely visible in this vastness but to be a part of it even for a short period was a gift.

—Ron & Russell, Sherman, CN | Custom Antarctica & Argentina Adventure

Whale sighting in Antarctica. Knowmad Adventures photo. contest winner for fauna category.

First Place

Whale sighting off the bow in Petermann Island, Antarctica

—Jo, Brooklyn, NY | Custom Antarctica Trip


Grand Prize Winner

Winners pose for picture inside ice cave in Argentina

The Big Ice Hike on Perito Moreno was astonishing! Getting equipped with crampons and hiking over the moraine to the top of the glacier was thrilling. But even better was descending into this ice cave formed by networks of running meltwater. Thank YOU for such a spectacular itinerary! We had a blast.

—Cam, Brooklyn, NY | Custom Argentina Trip

Ben and Cam took a long awaited odyssey to Patagonia. They sent many stunning pictures from their time in both Chile and Argentina, but this one really mesmerized us. It truly captures the beauty and adventure found in Patagonia. Congratulations on your Knowmad Photo Contest Grand Prize Win, Cam and Ben! We can’t wait to see the amazing shots you’ll take during your stay at Hacienda Zuleta featured in this Galapagos and Ecuador Luxury Adventure itinerary.

Congratulations to all of the 2023 Knowmad Annual Photo Contest winners and a sincere thank you to everyone who adventured with Knowmad Adventures!

Are you interested in a South American adventure of your own? We’re regional experts here at Knowmad Adventures and pride ourselves in building custom trips that are a perfect fit for our travelers. If you’re interested in crafting an adventure combining several regions in South America, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Trip Specialists at 612-315-2894 or [email protected] to begin planning your trip today!

Adiós, Shannon 

Shannon is an Operations Specialist at Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to crafting specialized custom, private trips to South America. Born and raised in Michigan, she’s always had a desire to experience other cultures and languages, but none have quite captured her heart like the breathtaking beauty of South America. Shannon currently calls Puerto Montt, Chile her home and loves exploring the beautiful landscapes and culture at her doorstep.