Landmark in Reserva Nacional Salinas Y Aguada Blanca

The only civilization between Arequipa and Chivay, save for a few scattered farmsteads, is this fork in the road that acts as a kind of truck/bus stop and fill-up point (buses head southeast for Puno every hour). A few snack shacks pepper the scruffy byway while a kilometer or so beyond the Puno turning you’ll run into El Chinito, the favored breakfast stop for early-morning tour buses. Next door to the restaurant sit various handicraft stores.

Close by and accessible via a short off-piste drive is the Bosque de Piedras, a surreal collection of mushroom-like stones eroded by the wind that stand sentinel over the Río Sumbay.