Ah, the life of an expat in Peru. It sounds so daring, so rebellious. It must be FULL of adventure, right?
Well, to be honest, it can be filled with a lot of nights sitting alone on your hostel floor scrolling through your Facebook feed to see what’s going on with friends back home. I don’t mean that we expats are sad, loveless foreigners roaming the world without purpose. What I mean is we’re human; while we cherish our independence and alone time more than the average person, we still have moments when we want to talk to someone who speaks our language and shares the same experiences.
Which is why I totally should have joined the South American Explorers club while I was in Cusco. Headquartered in Ithaca, New York, South American Explorers is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 by an American journalist in Lima. The Cusco clubhouse was founded in 1999.
You see, SAE and I had many close brushes, but we somehow never got to know each other. I passed the clubhouse on several of my strolls through the artsy San Blas neighborhood, and always meant to check it out, but somehow just never did. And almost every time my friend Kim and I went to eat somewhere, she’d say, “Oh, my SAE membership gets me a discount here.”
Then I went to this really awesome pub quiz at The Muse, and–surprise!–SAE was in charge of that too.
And yet, I still didn’t join. Bad choice.
Benefits of South American Explorers Membership
Access to SAE Clubhouses in Cusco and Lima, Peru, and in Quito, Ecuador
The Cusco clubhouse has a library, Internet, rooms for rent, and homemade COOKIES. It also has a Magic Jack phone you can use to make free calls to the U.S. and Canada. (And did I mention COOKIES?)
Discounts on restaurants, hotels, language schools, events, and tours
In Peru alone, there are 391 discounts you could take advantage of just by showing your SAE membership card. Had I purchased a membership, I probably would have recouped that cost in the amount of discounts I would have gotten.
Help with planning your trips
SAE staff are happy to help you plan your excursions, and they have guidebooks, topographical maps, and other resources they can point you to.
Luggage storage and mail services
These are huge necessities while traveling. SAE Cusco will give you a mailing address, so you no longer have to worry about how you’re going to receive packages or mail while you’re in Cusco. They also offer luggage storage services. It’s a great relief to be able to drop off your 30-pound backpack somewhere safe while you go exploring the city on foot.
South American Explorers Benefits for Non-Members
Even if you are not a member of SAE, you can still attend the awesome events they host. Of course, members get discounted prices on the event costs. In Cusco, SAE hosts many hikes, rock climbing events, and lectures.
If you’re traveling to Peru, and even other parts of South America, the South American Explorers Club is a valuable resource for you.
South American Explorers Clubhouse in Cusco
Take a video tour of the SAE Cusco clubhouse:
SAE has clubhouses in Cusco and Lima, Peru, and Quito, Ecuador.
Atocsaycuchi 670, San Blas
(This is a pedestrian area in San Blas, so a taxi cannot take you directly to the clubhouse.)
Phone: (+51-84) 245-484