THE Traveler: Ryan Benson of Minneapolis.

The scene: A breaching humpback whale burst from the waters off Puerto Lopez, Ecuador.

About Ecuador: "Many travelers visit Ecuador exclusively for the Galápagos Islands, which are indeed worth the trip, but mainland Ecuador has a lot to offer as well," Benson wrote in an e-mail. "The geography is stunning and diverse, the people are welcoming, and the affordable cost of living makes it an ideal location for long-term travelers looking to stretch their budgets." Benson took a whale-watching excursion from Puerto Lopez one day while he spent a month in nearby Montañita studying Spanish and learning to surf.

the shot: Benson shared this photo because it is crisp — he took a lot of blurry photos during the whale-watching cruise, too — and "it captures the peak of the breach, which was the photo I was chasing all morning," he wrote. "I also like how you can almost feel the humpback's explosive power when viewing the shot. It reminds me of a rocket lifting off."

Equipment: Benson used a Pentax K-70 camera with a Pentax 18-135mm lens.

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