Trekking into Chile’s southern backcountry can take days, even weeks. The mountainous terrain, seemingly endless pampa and striking valleys never fail to impress even the most experienced of hikers. However, for those who prefer home comforts to the ruggedness of Chile’s wilds, it is no longer necessary to leave the house in order to experience the country’s natural wonder.
As of January 2014 the world is now able to soak up the sights of Chile’s awe-inspiring wilderness landscapes online using Google’s Street View app, which affords internet users a 360-degree view of locations all over the world.
Up to 37 protected areas are now available to millions of web users thanks to an agreement signed between the national forestry service (CONAF) and technology giants Google Inc. Among Chile’s stunning sites to grace Google’s online vistas are national parks Torres del Paine, Nevado Tres Cruces and Fray Jorge. Chile’s Easter Island, way out in the Pacific Ocean — known locally as Rapa Nui — has also received the Google treatment.
“Chile is a land of extremes that invites visitors to experience a number of unusual emotions and experiences,” said Patricia Provost, director of communications at Fundación Imagen de Chile. “This technology is such a powerful tool because it puts at your fingertips the beauty of Chile’s natural resources, which are normally so distant from the rest of the world.”
The photographs were taken using a computer dubbed “Trekker” — a backpack containing an elevated camera that can be carried to remote regions, such as Chile’s wild Patagonian south. Whoever is wearing the specially designed pack is able to traverse terrain and locations previously inaccessible to Google’s view-mapping technology.
In relation to Chile, Street View Trekker’s aim is to inform the public about the cultural resources of the nation and spread the word about preserving biodiversity and wildlife within the country. while also promoting tourism to the Andean nation.
By visiting Google Maps, web users are only a few clicks away from soaking up some of the finest views the planet has to offer.