Travelling in Time On Board the Yavari

The ship is ready for your visit

The ship is now ready for your visit!

The Yavari is a 161-year-old iron-hulled ship built during the Industrial Revolution in England and taken in kit form across the seas to the Peruvian coast. The pieces were then loaded onto the backs of mules and carried up the Andes to be reassembled on Lake Titicaca, the sacred lake of the Incas and the highest navigable waterway in the world. It is a combination of Peruvian vision and British engineering.

After many lives, the Yavari has been restored to its original glory. Wooden panels, brass fittings, and the oldest Bolinder 4-cylinder diesel engine in the world is still in beautiful working order, and where necessary, the whole is modified to 21st-century safety standards. It is also a registered museum ship, the first in Peru.

Project Summary

We’re a non-profit association headed by Meriel Larken, who rescued the Yavari in the early 1980s and has led the restoration of this historic vessel. We have been able to invest tens of thousands of dollars over the past several years to restore the ship both historically, and as appropriate for receiving visitors.

We now invite you to visit and enjoy the museum and, or, take advantage of the B&B service we offer and spend a night on board a Victorian gunboat. By so doing you will also be contributing to our efforts to ensure the future of this unique vessel.

We are confident that you will find the experience, forever memorable! In addition to which, it would give you a very good reason to spend a little more time at this fascinating destination. The Yavari will offer a platform for school children and the local community to learn about their part of the world and its history, together with the Lake Titicaca’s ecology, value and the importance and urgency of its conservation.

How a 161-year-old ship on Lake Titicaca comes alive, recreates history, and educates while entertaining every visitor to Puno, Peru.


We’ll be able to provide travelers with a memorable and entertaining way to learn about the history of Lake Titicaca, its environment, and its interaction with the world over the past 150 years.

Once the ship becomes self-sustainable, it will provide a learning platform for schools and academia, a meeting point for the local population and an important landmark for the destination.

The team behind the Yavari project has more than 100 years of experience leading projects that have helped thousands of tourists around the world learn and enjoy unique destinations.

Training Opportunities

Our first step is to secure the well-being and involvement of the crew, because we believe it’s the most powerful starting point for a project like this. Having the right people on board is crucial for success.

We’ve already been working with a handful of skilled local Puneños and a couple of great captains, and we trust with the correct funding we can secure them for the long term.

We offer training opportunities to local Punenos in hospitality, tourism, project management and mechanical engineering.

- Other ways you can help -

Just spread the word. The more people learn about this wonderful ship on Lake Titicaca, the better. Share this page with whoever you think has an interest in history, navigation, travel and discovery. Thanks a million.