The purpose of the Museum of Historic Boats in Iquitos is to incorporate a cultural, historic, scenic and touristic value into the city. The historic boat Ayapua (1906) houses the museum and is located along the riverbank of Iquitos. The Ayapua is dedicated to the rubber boom period, with exhibitions depicting the history of navigation, geographers and explorers, Iquitos during the rubber boom, the indigenous cultures who lived during this period, the life of rubber tappers and rubber barons, as well as the film 'Fitzcarraldo', which was filmed in Iquitos. The river boats are an integral component of the history of Loreto, and more specifically Iquitos. During the rubber boom the boats transported rubber to the distant frosts of Iquitos and Manaus, making these boats vital to the economic boom. The men who worked on these boats dedicated their lives to navigating the Amazon River and its territories. Today, this public museum to honour these people and these boats and tells their stories to visitors, both national and international.


The Maritime Museum permits the people of Loreto, nationals from other areas of Peru, as well as international tourists to learn the history of these boats in the Peruvian Amazon and the heroes and men who dedicated their lives to navigating the Amazon by visiting the restored historic boats themselves. This museum also displays the history of Iquitos and the Peruvian Amazon.

The Ayapua was built in Hamburg, Germany, in 1906, commissioned for a large rubber tapping company. The Ayapua was one of many boats that travelled to rubber tapping states to collect the valuable rubber to be exported to Europe and North America. The Ayapua has been restored in detail to its original Victorian splendour, depicting the elegance and richness of the rubber boom period. The Ayapua will hold exhibitions of the rubber boom period as well as the film Fitzcarraldo.

The restored boats will enhance the scenic value of the riverbank of Iquitos and will unite the historic buildings with historic boats.



The city of Iquitos was founded as a base for navigating the Amazon in steam boats and its economic development came during the rubber boom period. Many families in Iquitos can retrace their ancestry to this period, from the rubber barons to the rural rubber tappers. This cultural legacy will be the basis for the museum, which will honour these people and tell their stories.

Incorporating a Historic Value


During initial navigation the steam boats were integral to the development of of Iquitos and the Peruvian Amazon. Only a few of these steam boats remain, and the Ayapua has been restored to its original splendour, incorporating many of its original features. The exhibitions are displayed in the rooms of the historic boats themselves, which contain artefacts from the rubber boom period.  These exhibitions recount the history of Loreto and Iquitos and teach the public about the rubber boom period and the history of navigation during this period. Iquitos is a city that is proud of its history, and its history is retold with accuracy and respect in the museum.


Incorporating a Scenic Value


Many cities have historic boats moored to their riverbanks or ports as a symbol of their history and culture. These include cities such as London, Amsterdam, New York, Chicago, Boston, among others. The historic boats add further elegance to the riverbanks of Iquitos, as they have done in other cities throughout the world.

The historic boat Ayapua, built in 1906 in Hamburg, German, is 33m long, 5m wide and has 3 main decks

Location of the Museum:


The museum can be found on the riverbank below the Ramon Castilla Square, located along Raimondi Street. During the rubber boom period the principal port of Iquitos was located here. Hence it is appropriate that the Maritime Museum of Iquitos be located on the riverbank of the Raman Castilla Square.

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