Me and my friend are planning to take the "classical" route from Lima to Cusco via Nasca, Arequipa and Lake Titicaca in two weeks this spring.
We're thinking about squeezing in Colca canyon as well for one day or two. If it comes to spend the night there it would be possibly in Chivay. I've found that there is a regular bus connection between Chivay and Arequipa, but as we'd move ahead to Puno from there, it'd be good to avoid backtracking (back to Arequipa and then to Puno), though I've failed to find if there's any kind of public transportation from Chivay to Puno... Any idea? How long the trip would take?
Another question: can a night on one of the "stable" islands of Titicaca be arranged upon arrival to Puno?
Gracias for any feedback
There's plenty of accommodation in Chivay, but most tours leave from Arequipa for colca canyon (days normally 1 to chivay and potter around there and the other to colca itself) There is a main junction on the way that is where the main road splits between cusco-arequipa-puno so you would be able to travel to puno from this junction if not chivay itself.
I'm pretty sure that if you get the tour (it was $35 for 2 days inc accommodation) from arequipa they'll be able to sort you out with travel to Puno.
I added a bit of info about colca canyon and Arequipa to the travel guides section, so you may find something of use there...
Unfortunatly there is not a good road to go from Chivay to Puno. Although you can see very close in the map, there are a lot of high (very high) mountains (the Andes) and it is not easy to transit. That is why all the tours take you again to Arequipa and go by the main road to Puno.
If you get the high lands sickness could be even worst and unsafe...
Please, see the map in this link:
I think there are also night buses between Arequipa and puno which might be useful if you need to return to Requipa - check out cruz del sur or ormeno they're the two biggest/best companies there.
Yeah, what Alsalis said is right, the route Chivay - Puno is very bad, if there is any route I mean, If you see the map there are a lot of mountains, prefer come back to Arequipa; besides it is not such a long trip, so.....come back to Arequipa and take the night bus to Puno
Thanks for all the feedback - it seems, that it's better to take the road back to Arequipa before heading to Puno.