You need a vacation, but all you can afford is an Internet connection? Welcome, my friend; I feel your pain. But, no worries, I’ve come up with a brilliant idea; relax, kick back and enjoy as Google Street View (GSV) is the perfect tool to take you on a 360-degree adventure to some the world’s most exotic destinations, without ever getting anything packed. And, that’s the best news of all, since we know women take way to long to get that done. Enjoy!
1. Sierra Negra Volcano Crater, Galapagos Islands
Home to some of the most ancient and exotic species in the world, the Galapagos Islands cost a pretty penny to visit but absolutely nothing to explore virtually. GSV offers tours of the islands’ pristine beaches, mangrove swamps, and volcanic rock formations, plus a peek inside the Charles Darwin Research Station.
2. Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer stands a whopping 98ft tall atop Rio de Janeiro’s Corcovado mountain. While you won’t be able to behold the full splendor of Corcovado on screen, you also won’t have to climb a 2,300-foot mountain. Have a cookie!
3. Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona
This U.S. landmark is breathtaking to behold even from the comfort of your home office. Between the photos of hiking trails with sweeping canyon views, wide-open craters, and a quaint ranch nestled into the valley, you might even get the urge to go there.
4. Hourglass Reef, Bermuda
No scuba certification is required to go diving with Google’s series of ocean tours. Explore a shipwreck that’s been chilling in Davy Jones’s Locker since 1864 and coral reefs that glow in Technicolor; where’s Nemo?
5. Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal
If you thought climbing Corcovado looked exhausting, you’ll probably want to stop planning next year’s trip to Nepal. While you won’t summit Everest on GSV, the views from Base Camp might leave you light-headed. Getting a Go-Pro on top? Sounds like a challenge.
6. Rio Negro, South America
Love the thought of exploring the rainforest? Good. With placid views of the Rio Negro, the Amazon River’s largest tributary, as well as the dense underbrush of the rainforest, Google tends to your nature side without the attendant insects. Bonus: no spiders or creepy crawlers.
7. Scott’s Hut, Cape Evans, Antarctica
The South Pole is pretty far away, not to mention cold. On this ditgital tour , you can check out Scott’s historic, snow-clad cabin, an assortment of world flags planted in the ice, and scores of frolicking penguins.
8. Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wieliczka, Poland
This 13th century salt mine features a cathedral carved out of rock salt and an underground lake; contemporary artists have also contributed to the landmark with statues and other artifacts made of salt. Stunning!
9. Large Hadron Collider Tunnel, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
CERN’S genius-only facilities in Switzerland aren’t really available to the public, but the Large Hadron Collider has confirmed the existence of the Higgs particle here. And, thanks to Street View, however, IQ is no longer a prerequisite for glimpsing this miracle of modern science.
10. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The opulent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the eighth-largest mosque in the world and it bears the unique honor of being the only mosque to censure Rihanna. With its white marble façade and plazas inlaid with gold and precious stones, we can see why they’d want to do a photoshoot there.