Gabriel O’Rorke, our wonderful Santiago-based writer who contributed the Santiago, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro guides to kodomo.com, has now released a fabulous Santiago city guide and we couldn’t be prouder. And the best thing about it? Unlike traditional print guides that can date really quickly, her Santiago City Guide is being produced as an App. As Gabriel said, “The problem with print is that it can’t keep up with the pace of change in the world of travel. The main thing that spurred me on to write a guide was that my favourite part of Santiago – a leafy street called Avenida Italia with lots of hidden courtyards filled with coffee and boutique shops – was not in any of the hardback guide books.”
Published by Apple, (so it’s available for smart phones, tablets and androids), all the content for her new App is online so she can constantly update and add to it. Quite simply, the internet is the only place that can attempt to keep up with all the details tourists need. “There’s lots more change to come to Santiago,” explains Gabriel. “The crumbling Downtown area is being scrubbed up, more new areas are emerging, and hotels, world-class restaurants and cafes are opening. The other thing that motivated me was the fact that too many people see Santiago as nothing more than a stopover before exploring the rest of the country. That’s understandable as there’s plenty to see – lakes, volcanoes, the desert, vineyards, glaciers and mo’ai – but you can also have your hat blown off by Santiago. You just need to know where to go.”
And we brought Gabriel on board here at Kodomo.com because, while South American cities may not always instantly smack of being child-friendly, they really are, as long as you know where to go. Born in Scotland, Gabriel now resides in Santiago and knows it like a native. “It is a city filled with parks, museums and history. A modest, understated city (it’s not very Chilean to blow your own trumpet) where the best places are in hidden pockets off the beaten track. You need a guide to see the best of Santiago.”
And this is just the beginning. There are currently 160 ideas on what to see, where to stay, must-visit restaurants and more, but Gabriel is going to keep adding and plans to include short videos soon. “I’m also working on a series of ‘My Top 5’ entries,” says Gabriel, “which will have tips from locals.”
Previously a TV producer for the BBC and reporter for ABC, Gabriel contributes to a range of outlets including CNN Travel, Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, National Geographic Traveller and, of course, kodomo.com.
Very well done Gabriel!