South American Explorers: Responsible Tourism in Action

South American Explorer's ClubSouth American Explorers: Responsible Tourism in Action Courtesy of
One of’s favorite resources for responsible travesouth-american-explorersl in South America is South American Explorers (SAE), a non-profit organization with clubhouses in Quito, Ecuador, Lima and Cusco, Peru, and U.S. headquarters in Ithaca, New York. Formerly known as the South American Explorers Club, SAE collects and makes available to its members up-to-date, reliable information about Central and South America.

South American Explorers was founded in 1977 and is dedicated to:
Furthering the exchange of information among travelers and researchers
Promoting responsible travel through publication of pamphlets, information packets, the Internet, and its magazine, the South American Explorer.
Publicizing projects aimed at improving social and environmental conditions in Latin America and collecting funds for their activities.
Awakening greater interest and appreciation for the welfare of endangered peoples, wildlife protection, and wilderness conservation.
Collecting information on volunteer and research opportunities.
Fostering ties between non-profit organizations, NGOs, and conservation groups.
Knowledgeable Staff: Our friendly staff and volunteers provide advice and practical information to members. The club is also a place to meet others and exchange information.
Networking: Members looking for travel companions for a trip/expedition, or seeking to contact experts in a particular field, can pin up notices on bulletin boards in Lima, Cusco and Quito, post them on our website, or put a classified in the South American Explorer (first 25 words $10 to Regular Members, free to Life Members).
Trip Reports: Trip Reports provide specialized information on just about everything–climbing Aconcagua, volunteering, learning Spanish, lining up a local tour operator, whitewater rafting, hiking the Darien Gap, visiting the Galapagos, etc. For members only, Trip Reports are available at each of the clubhouses or by mail from Ithaca for a photocopying charge plus postage.
Files: This club maintains files of articles covering a variety of topics relating to South/Central America.
Maps: The club maintains a collection of topographical, geological and road maps for member use and purchase.
Lending Library: There is an extensive library of both English and Spanish books at clubhouses in Quito and Lima and Cusco. (Borrowing policies vary at each clubhouse.)
Merchandise for sale: Books, maps, tapes, handicrafts, T-shirts and other items are on sale at clubhouses or through the club’s catalog. Members receive discounts on most items.
South American Explorer: A 64-page quarterly magazine with articles on adventure travel, scientific discovery, history, archaeology, mountaineering, native peoples, languages, anthropology, geology, and more. The SAE is always looking for authors. Write, call or see our webpage for guidelines.
Trip planning: Members can call upon their club for help and trip planning information. To best serve you, please tell us: when you plan to travel, for how long, your budget, interests, number of people, comfort level, transportation, etc. The more you tell us about your plans, the better we can help. For example, we can do little if you say, “Give me everything you have on the Amazon.” Better to ask about something specific, like Amazon boats or birdlife, etc.
** Please note that most of the club’s information is on South America. We have gradually expanded into Central America, but our information here is more limited.
Equipment Storage: The clubhouses will store a member’s equipment and valuables for up to a year. There is no charge for this service.
Mail, Phone and Fax Service: Members may receive mail at the SAE postal addresses. The staff will take phone messages during office hours and fax messages for members. All mail for members should be sent to the postal address (not the street address) except when using Federal Express, DHL or other express mail services. For both regular and express mail, be sure to write members name, e.g. John Doe, c/o the South American Explorers, etc.
Book Exchange Library: Many English-language books are available for exchange.
Message Board: Members looking for traveling companions, leaving messages for friends, looking for good deals on trips, etc. can use the message board at each clubhouse. All notices should be dated and posted in person.
Email Service: Members are welcome to send and receive email at each clubhouse. If you are sending or receiving mail, please include the member’s full name in the subject field. See addresses for member email below. Sorry, no internet connection.
Additional Member Services, Ithaca:
Trip Reports: Ithaca staff will recommend, select and mail trip reports to members, but members are urged to be specific about interests, budget, etc. Needless to say, some reports are more detailed or and/or helpful than others. There is a charge for photocopying/postage.
Classified Ads: Members may place classified ads in the South American Explorer. The first 25 words are $10 per issue. (Additional words cost $.50 each.) Life Members may place a free ad up to 25 words. To submit, send payment, text, your membership and phone number to: Classifieds, 126 Indian Creek Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850.
Research: Our staff will research subjects related to South and Central America. There is an hourly charge for this service.
Donations: The club, as a non-profit organization, can receive money or goods destined for specific projects and/or expeditions. All donations are U.S. tax-deductible. If you are looking for a significant research project or expedition to support, the club is uniquely positioned to recommend worthy recipients.
South American Explorers Catalog: The club’s annual catalog contains books, maps, music and language tapes as well as selected handicrafts. Please call or write the Ithaca office to request a copy of the latest catalog. Include $3.00 if catalog is to be mailed outside the U.S.
U.S. Headquarters
126 Indian Creek Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 USA
Telephone: (607) 277-0488 Fax: (607) 277-6122
Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, weekdays only.
– Once you’re in Ithaca: Take Route 96 north, heading out of Ithaca. Three miles out of Ithaca, you’ll pass Cayuga Medical Center on your right. Take the next legal right turn on DuBois Rd. Take first right onto Indian Creek Road. Travel 1/4 mile down Indian Creek Road. This club is in garage of large white house with yellow mailbox.
Quito clubhouse
Jorge Washington 311 y Leonidas Plaza, Mariscal Sucre, Quito
Postal address: Apartado 17-21-431, Eloy Alfaro, Quito, Ecuador
Telefax: (593 2) 225-228
Administrative Email:
Hours are 9:30am – 5pm Monday – Friday. Every Thursday till 8:00 pm.
– Once you’re in Quito: A taxi from the airport to the clubhouse should cost no more than US$3-4 in sucres. Taxi drivers are officially required to use their meters during the day, but airport taxis often charge a flat fee instead. Tell the driver you want to go to Mariscal Sucre (the neighborhood in which the club is located) and give the address: Jorge Washington 311 y Leonidas Plaza. The club is a two-minute walk from Parque El Ejido in the New Town, one block from Av. Seis de Diciembre (a major bus route in Quito), and a ten minute bus or taxi ride from Colonial Quito.
Lima clubhouse
Avenida Republica de Portugal 146, Breña, Lima
Postal address: Casilla 3714, Lima 100, Peru
Telefax: (51-1) 425-0142
Administrative Email:
Hours are 9:30am – 5pm Monday – Friday, Saturday 9:30am – 1pm plus 1st and 3rd Wed. until 8pm
– Once you’re in Lima: If you arrive in Lima during office hours, you may want to come directly to the club. A taxi at the airport can cost from US$4-8. Getting a lower price is more likely if you bargain in local currency, or hail a taxi from the street. Always agree on the price beforehand. Give directions as follows: “Avenida Republica de Portugal ciento cuarenta y seis, Breña, cerca de Plaza Bolognesi, cuadra 13 de Alfonso Ugarte, entre Bolivia y España.” From downtown Lima, the club is a ten to fifteen-minute walk from Plaza San Martin and a five-minute walk from the Sheraton. It is located in the district of Breña.
Cusco clubhouse
Av Sol 930, Cusco
Postal address: Apartardo 500, Cusco, Peru
Tel/fax : (51 84) 223 102
(May 1st – September 30th) : 9:30am – 5pm Monday – Saturday and Sunday 9:30am – 1pm.
– Once you’re in Cusco: From the airport we suggest you catch a taxi further from the terminal if possible (or outside the parking lot). Try to avoid the taxis waiting directly outside the Arrivals building (they cost a relative fortune). The taxi ride should cost S/.3 to S/.4 soles, no more. Negotiate the price before getting into the vehicle. Give directions as follows: “Avenida del Sol 930 (novecientos treinta), una cuadra abajo del correo.”

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In Cusco a taxi should not cost more than S/.3 per ride. Read the advisory on taxi robberies in Cusco on the SAE webpage to learn what to look for in a taxi (real license plates and a newer vehicle if possible). From the Plaza de Armas, the clubhouse is a 10 minute walk down Avenida del Sol, one block past the post office.
Bolivian Times
The Bolivian Times will receive mail for members in Bolivia. Address mail to: Your Name, Member SAE, c/o Bolivian TIMES, PO Box 1696, La Paz, Bolivia. You can pick up mail at the Bolivian Times office: Pasaje Jauregui 2248, La Paz. Tel: (591 2) 390700.
Membership is US$50 ($80 couple) per year and is tax-deductible in the U.S. Residents outside the U.S. add US$10 (Canada US$7) for postage. Those wishing to sign up in the United Kingdom can join through Bradt Publications, 41 Nortoft Road, Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks SL9 OLA, U.K. Allow 4-6 weeks to receive membership

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