Galápagos Tortoises Are Now on Google Street View!

September 25, 2015 | Sarah Tse

Galapagos Tortoise Google Street View
Photo credit: Screenshot from Google Street View

Take a tropical getaway with the giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands, brought to you by Google Street View!​

You’re yearning for a tropical getaway. You’ve already used up all your vacation days. Also, you like tortoises. Good news: you can tour the Galápagos Islands and visit their famous tortoises, for free, without even leaving your chair — all thanks to Google Street View. The app can bring virtual tourists to destinations all over the world, and it now includes a collection of routes that follow the giant Galápagos tortoises as they migrate from the lowlands to the highlands.

Galápagos tortoises are the largest living tortoise and can weigh up to 250 kg — as heavy as three grown men. They also have one of the longest lifespans of any vertebrate, averaging at least 100 years in the wild. Their serene lifestyle and penchant for 16-hour naps probably has something to do with that. These gentle giants nearly approached extinction in the 1970s, but conservation and breeding initiatives have helped restore their numbers.

The virtual tour provides an exclusive look at the habitats of the Galápagos tortoises, including places that are off limits to visitors in the flesh. Here are some suggestions for your itinerary:

Follow the tortoises’ path as they search for food after the seasons shift.

Explore the dry island of Pinzon, where tortoises depend on cactuses for shelter, food, and water.

Meditate with these sleepy tortoises as they prepare to start their day.

Take a peek at these baby tortoises at the Galapaguera breeding center.

Watch these tortoises enjoy a patch of lush veggies they’ve found on the Alcedo volcano.

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