Today we’re bringing you the very best of National Geographic Travel 2011, a photo competition held every single year. The thirty-four images below are our selection of the best entered this year, in the 24th annual competition, which received so many submissions that the organizers even decided to extend the deadline. Last year, no fewer than 13,000 photos from around the world were submitted and the quality of the award-winners was exceptional. This year, we’re traveling from the United States to Cuba and back, to Africa, India and some other amazingly beautiful places in the world. It’s not just the places that are breath-taking and thought provoking, but the people one gets to meet along the way, too. Check out the official website of the competition to sample the photographers’ accompanying comments for every single image, and to discover some incredible stories.