Last month, TheBlaze brought you some of the stunning images in the running for National Geographic’s Traveler Photo Contest.

Out of more than 12,000 entries from more than 6,600 photographers, Nat Geo has released the winners. It states that photographs “show everything from peaceful landscapes to unexpected moments.”

Here are the top winners:

First place: Shot in the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan, photographer Cedric Houin says “the intimacy of this everyday life moment, shot inside of a family yurt, is in total contrast with the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live in. ” This photograph was in Nat Geo’s “sense of place” category.

National Geographic Announces Its Winners for the 2012 Traveler Photo Contest

"Butterfly" by Cedric Houin (Image via National Geographic)

Second place: “My Balloon” was taken by Vo Anh Kiet in the Outdoor Scenes category. The photographer writes that these are H’mong children playing in Vietnam. Nat Geo photographer and contest judge said the picture “is like a dream, and it’s timeless not only because it’s black and white and there’s no sense of modernity, but also because it depicts an activity that children everywhere on the planet do with balloons.”

National Geographic Announces Its Winners for the 2012 Traveler Photo Contest

"My Balloon" by Vo Anh Kiet (Image via National Geographic)

Third place: This photo comes from Trapani, Sicily, Italy, depicting an Easter celebration called “Misteri.” Photographer Andrea Guarneri wrote that the men in front of the scene had carried scenes from the Passion of Christ on their shoulders. Here they’re taking a break.

National Geographic Announces Its Winners for the 2012 Traveler Photo Contest

"Devotees" by Andrea Guarneri (Photo via National Geographic)

These are a few of the “merit winners”:

National Geographic Announces Its Winners for the 2012 Traveler Photo Contest

"Lost in Time: An Ancient Forest" by Ken Thorne in Madagascar. (Photo via National Geographic)

National Geographic Announces Its Winners for the 2012 Traveler Photo Contest

"Swimming in the Rain" by Camila Massu in Chile (Photo via National Geographic)

National Geographic Announces Its Winners for the 2012 Traveler Photo Contest

"Underwater Surf" by Lucia Griggi in the Pacific Ocean off Fiji (Photo via National Geographic)

The grand prize is a National Geographic Galapagos Photography Expedition. Other prizes ranged from workshops and seminars to gift certificates.

Check out all the editor’s favorites in the various categories here.

(H/T: Daily Mail)