Night Fishermen, Japan

National Geographic’s best travel photos of 2015

National Geographic has published a gallery of the best travel photos of 2015, featuring 50 travel photos from around the globe. To see the full gallery, go to travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/daily-travel-photo-best-of-2015/.

Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain

Photograph by David Ramos, Getty Images

National Geographic: Best Travel Photos of 2015

Space is tight for onlookers during opening day of the San Fermin Festival’s Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Held since 1591, the event attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year for nine days of revelry, morning bull runs, and afternoon bullfights. The festival gained worldwide fame after appearing in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Photograph by Gleb Tarro, National Geographic Your Shot

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

The Cuernos (Horns) del Paine grab the early morning light in Chile’s wild Torres del Paine National Park. Once the haunt of a few stalwart climbers, the park now draws more than 100,000 visitors a year.

Night Fishermen, Japan

Photograph by The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

Night Fishermen, Japan

Fishermen wait for glass eels to be drawn to the bright lights they’re shining on Japan’s Yoshino River. When the eels are close, the fishermen scoop them up. This type of traditional fishing is best done on the darkest nights.

Yellowstone National Park

Photograph by Jeff Vanuga, Corbis

Yellowstone National Park

Frost paints Yellowstone’s Lower Geyser Basin white early one January morning. The world’s first national park doesn’t shut down during the long winter—cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are popular snowy activities.

Binche, Belgium

Photograph by Sergi Reboredo, VWPics/Redux

Binche, Belgium

The town of Binche, Belgium, takes its Mardi Gras silliness seriously, with street performances, costumed revelers, music, and dancing. The centuries-old event has been named by UNESCO a “masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.”

La Réunion National Park

Photograph by Spani Arnaud, Hemis/Corbis

La Réunion National Park

Under a stormy sky, hikers round a small lake in La Réunion National Park, located on the French island of Réunion in the southwest Indian Ocean. Added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2010, the 247,000-acre park features dramatic, rugged landscapes and valuable ecosystems—including cloud forests, subtropical rain forests, and heaths—that are home to many threatened and endangered species.

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg

Photograph by Sasse, laif/Redux

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg

An elaborate mosaic under the central dome in the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia, draws the eye up. The church contains nearly 1.9 acres of mosaics.

Lake Bogoria National Park, Kenya

Photograph by Martin Harvey, Corbis

Lake Bogoria National Park, Kenya

Lesser flamingos take flight over Lake Bogoria in Kenya. The alkaline waters of Bogoria and other Rift Valley lakes support the cyanobacteria that the birds feed on.

Cape Town, South Africa

Photograph by Philip Grube

Cape Town, South Africa

“I took this picture at an amusement park down by the [Victoria and Alfred] Waterfront in Cape Town,” says Philip Grube, who entered the 2015 Traveler Photo Contest. “It was a clear blue sky when I saw these kids crawling, running, and trying to balance themselves in these shiny plastic bubbles in a pool of water. The reflection of the water in combination with the effect of the bubbles under the blue sky looked somehow surreal.”

Northern Lights Over Iceland

Photograph by Daniele Boffelli

Northern Lights Over Iceland

The aurora borealis sets the Iceland sky alight with an otherworldly glow. This phenomenon is triggered when the sun sends charged particles coursing to Earth. The best time to see the light show in Iceland is on a clear night in winter—visibility improves the colder it gets.

Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Photograph by Duratul Ain D., National Geographic Your Shot

Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Fresh produce and baskets of fish surround a woman at the Siti Khadijah market in Kota Bharu, Malaysia. The city is close to the Thai border.

San Rafael Falls, Ecuador

Photograph by Ivan Kashinsky, The New York Times/Redux

San Rafael Falls, Ecuador

The Coca River roars over the San Rafael Falls, the largest waterfall in Ecuador. Tucked into a cloud forest, San Rafael is near Baeza in the country’s northeast.