Travelling in Time On Board the Yavari

The ship is ready. Let’s set her sailing

Now we need your help for the final boost to make this a living, self-sustainable tourism project.

The Yavari is a 150-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 on to 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. 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 still in beautiful working order, with 21st century safety and navigation 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 $300,000 over the past several years to restore the ship both historically and to meet today’s navigation safety standards.

We are now very close to the finishing line. We seek to raise sufficient funds for the Yavari to have working capital for 6 months, after which the ship should be breaking even as a tourism product.

Once we reach this breaking point, Lake Titicaca will be able to offer one very powerful reason for visitors to spend a little more time at this fascinating destination, while school children and the local community will have a platform on which to learn about their part of the world and its history.

How a 150-year old ship on Lake Titicaca comes alive, recreates history and educates while entertaining every visitor to Puno, Peru.

- We Need Your Support -

What we need and what you get for your help

We need US$30,000 to maintain a crew of 7 people on board, all Navy-trained and most of them from the Lake Titicaca region, including a captain, a second-in-charge, an engineer and 4 sailors; plus basic equipment and supplies to keep every nook and cranny shipshape and the engine running smoothly.

Donate in Peru

In Peru, your gift can be made in US dollars. Please complete our Pledge Form and we will email the donation information.



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.

- Risks and Challenges  -

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.

- 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.