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“Interesting Exhibit”
Review of Yavari

Ranked #9 of 56 things to do in Puno
Attraction details
Reviewed February 14, 2014

If you like old boats or engines this is pretty interesting. If not you'll probably be bored. They do expect a donation at the end but I don't think they would force it if you are on a budget.

Thank Slapheado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 10, 2014

The story of the first steamship on Lake Titicaca (150 years ago) being shipped from England in pieces and then up and over the Andes by mule (six years!) to be reassembled in Puno is amazing.

1  Thank Paul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Is she the SS Molly Aida............ no, is she the SS Contamana.............no; she is still afloat and must be, therefore, the SS Yavari.
Cinema aficionados will undoubtedly remember the classic film Fitzcarraldo and the exhilarating destruction of the SS Molly Aida. This famous motion picture was loosely based upon the life and times of the American fortune-hunter and rubber baron Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald, who was, in the 1890’s, living at Iquitos. Fitzcarrald, an enterprising fellow, dismantled his bulky steamship, the SS Contamana, and then transported her piece by piece overland between the rivers Rio Mishagua and Rio Manu, deep within the jungle of Peru. Having reassembled his craft he continued his journey down the Rio Manu, explored the Madre de Dios region of Peru, founded the City of Puerto Maldonado and, happily, made a considerable fortune. Most unfortunately however, at the young age of 35, Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald died during the sinking of the Contamana; the sunken remains of which are reportedly still, albeit barely, discernible at Puerto Maldonado.
Conversely in the film Fitzcarraldo the Molly Aida was manhandled intact by several hundred indigenous inhabitants between two rivers, and over a mountain, within the jungle. Happily this too was only for a short distance however the human effort involved in completing this task was phenomenal. Eventually the SS Molly Aida was sunk and destroyed when traversing ferocious rapids, fortunately nobody died although several members of the film crew were injured.
The steamship Yavari endured a much longer, more arduous, more romantic and exotic passage than that of the Contamana before she floated peacefully upon the waters of Lake Titicaca.
In 1861, the Peruvian Government ordered two small cargo-passenger “gunboats” for Lake Titicaca from the James Watt foundry in Birmingham, England. Since there was no rail link to Lake Titicaca these two ships were to be built in “kit form” and delivered to the Pacific port of Arica, transported by mule to Puno and there assembled.
In October of 1862, the “Mayola”, bearing the two gunboats and eight British engineers docked at Arica and discharged a veritable mountain of packing cases. The Peruvian Navy, being itself ultimately responsible for ensuring the safe transportation of these 2700 or so packing cases, weighing in total more than 200 tons, to the shores of Lake Titicaca, put this daunting task to open public tender. The winner of the competition promised delivery in six months; the British engineers left for Puno, there to supervise construction of the harbour and the necessary facilities for assembling the two gunboats. Innumerable disasters and natural calamities then occurred and the project was almost abandoned; it was not until January of 1869 that reconstruction of the Yavari could begin.

On Christmas Day 1870 the Yavari, just over one hundred feet in length and fuelled by dry lama dung, was proudly launched. For the next twenty years of her life she bravely plied the waters of Lake Titicaca but following the disastrous conclusion, from the Peruvian perspective, of the War of the Pacific her fortunes tumbled. Ownership of the Yavari was transferred several times, she was extensively refitted – a new and more powerful boiler installed- and extended overall but by 1975, then owned once again by the Peruvian Navy, she was, sadly, allowed to lapse into disuse and effectively abandoned. Rediscovered in 1982 she was then thoroughly surveyed and finally purchased from the Peruvian Navy in 1989 by the La Asociación Yavarí , a charitable trust.
Today the Yavari is fully restored but remains tied up in Puno, hidden behind the Sonesta Posadas del Inca. The Yavari retains almost all of her original fixtures and fittings and is open to visitors daily. It is not necessary to be a professional engineer in order to appreciate her undoubted charm, and there is always a member of her crew on hand who will be happy and willing to explain her more technical features and history for those who have a particular interest.
There is little to see in Puno, most travellers come to Puno in order to go somewhere else, but the Yavari is well worth visiting. Many travellers, including this reviewer, consider the Yavari to be the most interesting attraction in Puno. Plucky visitors – it can get very cold at night in Puno - may stay on board the Yavari, there are Bed and Breakfast facilities, and slumber under the Southern Cross in a bunk once occupied by Prince Phillip.
One word, or two, of caution though. The Yavari is a little far from the central plaza, it is better to take a taxi to the Sonesta Posadas del Inca and then walk through its grounds to the ships’ berth. If you are not staying overnight on the Yavari then ask the hotel desk to call you a cab for your return journey, which they will be happy to do. Puno is not a very dangerous city but.................... parts of it are rather “tough” and somewhat insalubrious.

1  Thank Ian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Staying on the Yavari felt so special. We came aboard & got the tour of the boat now it's restored, beautiful. Our cabin was compact but cosy with lovely fluffy duvets.

We were the only people staying & got dinner on board as well as a great breakfast the next morning. Personal service all the way including hot water bottles before we went to bed!

Location is out of town but it's so peaceful on the lake, like you're in a whole different place than Puno!! Several couples came on board & all expresses envy as they didn't know it was possible to stay over!

We recommend it

Thank Honeymansells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 7, 2013

Just casually stopped by and I'm so happy I did. This is truly an incredible ship and the restoration work is amazing. Taking the brief tour was one of the most memorable things I did on my trip to Puno. And the tour guide -- a crew member -- was so gracious. I couldn't help but leave a donation for the continued restoration work.

Thank worldtraveler1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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