Peru & the Galapagos - Schools Expeditions - Operation Wallacea

Peru & the Galapagos – Schools Expeditions

Peru & the Galapagos Schools Booklet

Structure of the expedition

Groups choosing to come to Peru & the Galapagos will be on our Peru marine site for their first week, which takes place at Paneta Oceano Research Centre in Zorritos, to help with manta ray surveys. For their second week they will be heading over to our Galapagos marine site to an island called Santa Cruz.

Research Objectives

This new expedition is helping to develop the marine research programme run by Planeta Oceano on the Northern coast of Peru. The area has a large population of manta rays which appear to be using the area north into the Pacific coast of Ecuador and out to the Galapagos. The project involves building up a photographic database of the manta rays and also of the whale sharks that are commonly found in the area. Monitoring of coastal fisheries both from landings and underwater surveys of fish communities is also part of this programme. In addition, the programme is aimed at capacity building amongst the local communities so that they can develop income streams from protecting the manta rays and whale sharks. The second week in the Galapagos is based in a wildlife reserve where the students complete a Galapagos Island ecology course.

Week 1 – Peru

The group will start their first week in Zorritos, Peru, helping at the Planeta Oceano Research Centre

In the first week students complete one of the following:

  • PADI Open Water dive training course: This course involves a combination of theory lessons, confined water dives and open water dives to gain an official scuba diving qualification.
  • Coastal America marine ecology course: This can be completed by snorkelling only or as a fully qualified diver.

As well as this they will have the opportunity to assist with the following surveys:

  • Snorkelling with manta rays and whale sharks for photographic database
  • Fishery landing surveys
  • Fish and sea bird surveys

Week 2 – the Galapagos

For their second week the group will head to the Island of Santa Cruz were following a series of talks and lecture, students will be trained by practicals and then assist with the following projects:

  • Galapagos Fish identification
  • Iguana behaviour studies
  • Santa Cruz island habitats and terrestrial fauna
  • Intertidal surveys
  • Bird identification


Week 1: Shared dorm style rooms

Week 2: Shared tents