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
Entrance fees are the same for all of Madagascar's most-visited national parks, with a portion of the fee generally shared with the local communities in an effort to promote conservation. Guide fees are an additional charge. Fees are accurate as of October 2014:
- 1 day: 25,000 Ar per person
- 2 days: 37,000 Ar per person
- 3 days: 40,000 Ar per person
- 4 days: 50,000 Ar per person
- Malagasy nationals: 1,000 Ar per person per day.
- Children of any nationality: 200 Ar per child per day.
Guide fees for treks in the park are:
- Piscines noire et bleue - Cascade 32,000 Ar
- Crête - Piscine naturelle 36,000 Ar
- Piscine naturelle - Cascade 45,000 Ar
- Canyon des Makis - Cascade 50,000 Ar
- Canyon des Makis - Piscine naturelle 55,000 Ar
- Cascade - Piscines noire et bleue - Piscine naturelle 77,000 Ar
- Cascade - Piscines noire et bleue - Piscine naturelle - Crête 113,000 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.
- 1 Chez Alice. Bungalows start at 22,000 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).