The park is known for its wide variety of terrain, including sandstone formations, deep canyons, palm-lined oases, and grassland. The closest town is Ranohira, and the closest city is Toliara. A local guide is required for visitors entering the park, and guides and porters can be hired in Ranohira. Treks in the park can last from several hours to a week or longer.
The Bara people, who traditionally inhabit the park, entomb the dead in natural mountain caves that are considered sacred, they have buried the dead of their ancestors for centuries.
Flora and fauna
Fees and permits
National park fees for Isalo as of 2018 are:
- 65,000 Ar pp for one day
- 110,000 Ar pp for two days
Compulsory community tax is an additional 5,000 per person for entire length of visit.
Guide fees for treks in the park are:
- Less than 4 hours - 80,000 Ar
- More than 4 hours - 120,000 Ar
- 1 Fenetre. Fenetre, meaning window, is a natural arch and popular sunset spot. You don't need to pay the park entrance or guide to visit this site. Of course, hiring a car with a guide is the easiest way to visit, 40,000 Ar round trip. Travel is also possible by taxi brousse. Look for the small sign on the right, just past the RN7 Sakaraha 93-km marker and across from Hotel La Palme. Follow the signs 800m to the site. Fenetre gets crowded with tourists starting 30 minutes before sunset, so finding a ride back should not be a problem.
In Ranohira there is a 2,000 Ar 'community tax' on top of every room per night. Check whether this is included in the price you are being quoted.
- 1 Chez Alice. Bungalows start at 37,000 Ar.
- 2 Isalo Rock Lodge. This 60-room resort occupies an incredible location, surrounded by sandstone formations and with a sunset view across the rocks that is nearly worth the hefty room price on its own. This is a top-end resort, built from local materials in order to blend with the natural setting. The large rooms that contain amenities such as air conditioning, mosquito nets, mini bar, safe, and deck. Property amenities include a pool, desert gardens, bar, restaurant, and spa. The resort also offers a few hiking options, including the short (five-minute) hike up to a hiking trail up to Giorgio's Window, a sunset overlook atop a sandstone formation. Visa accepted for payment. €155 per night (half-board), €120 per night (room only).