Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinders: top Instagrams from March 2018

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Wild frontiers, wilderness and wildlife make up the varied array of epic Instagram shots from our camera-wielding Pathfinders this month – here are the frames that left us slack-jawed.

Ometepe, Nicaragua

A post shared by Len Theivendra (@lentheivendra) on

'I was exploring the island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua last week, where twin volcanoes can be found. As the day wore on, the clouds lifted around Volcan Concepción, revealing this view of the smouldering, active volcano with smoke spouting out of its summit, set against the wildflowers on the ground.' – Len, @lentheivendra

Why we like it: Len's capture of this volcanic island looks almost prehistoric; the tangle of foliage and flora in the foreground draw the eye upwards to the main attraction – Volcan Concepción's smoking crest. This is one of planet Earth's truly natural landscapes, pictured in its entirely natural state.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

A post shared by mpetrick91 (@mpetrick91) on

'During the first week of March, I travelled to the Lofoten Islands with three friends. We found pictures online of this place and it looked too incredible to not visit. The landscape was absolutely stunning and I really believe this is one of the most beautiful places in the world, particularly when lit by aurora borealis.' – Michael, @mpetrick91

Why we like it: Who doesn't love a picture of the Northern Lights? Michael snapped his shot at exactly the right time here, just as the stunning swathes of green were swooping across the sky, skimming the summit of the snow-specked mountain in the distance. The velvety stillness of the water adds a sense of calm to the image, which contrasts to the dramatic atmosphere of the emerald sky it reflects.

Liège, Belgium

A post shared by Timothy Cohen (@timdavhen) on

'The Liège-Guillemins railway station in Liège was designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava. It is one of the most important transport hubs in the country, and took 13 years to build. With all the arches, it really looks like a concrete cathedral to me!' – Timothy, @timdavhen

Why we like it: Part of taking a great photo is finding beauty in the everyday, and portraying something ostensibly ordinary in a new light. In this frame of the Liège-Guillemins railway station, Timothy does just that, adding drama and power to this underground view with a killer combo of expert perspective and considered lighting.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

'A lone king penguin waddles along the rocky beach in South Georgia. The giant iceberg floating in the bay makes a perfect backdrop for the photo.' – Chris, @picturesqueplanet_

Why we like it: We're sure this penguin knew he was the star of the show... Beautifully captured in all his splendour, this feathered fella contrasts beautifully with the soft-focus, blue hues of the background, and draws the eye across the image to the darker shades of its lower third. A masterclass in composition AND an adorable animal – what more could we ask for?

Longyearbyen, Svalbard

'We went on a hike over the frozen river of Advent near Longyearbyen – a five-hour walk over ice to the historic mining settlement. It was -8C, which is relatively warm for the Arctic, but it was very windy. It wasn't snowing, but the strong wind was lifting snow particles from the ground into the air and they were drifting along the ice in what looked like a river of milk. We got to experience the real Arctic conditions and surreal beauty of the frozen world, when all day long the sky was the colour of sunset.' – Alina and Jekabs, @lincalincalinca

Why we like it: Alina and Jekabs' image is the perfect frozen capture of pure wilderness. The blurry, powdery snow flurry of the image's lower half blending into the vast, stretching horizon through which the lone figure is walking, expertly showcases the expansive emptiness of the Arctic.

For your chance to be featured in our next round up, sign up to Lonely Planet Pathfinders – our programme for travel-loving bloggers and social content creators. In the meantime, you can get more Instagram inspiration by following @lonelyplanet.