Yala is the second largest national park in the island nation of Sri Lanka. It is also one of the most visited by both tourists and locals. Because of its popularity, a number of hostels, eco lodges, and hotels are present just outside the park. Located in the southeast part of the island, the park covers an area of just under 1000 square kilometers.
If you are staying at a hostel in Yala, be sure to visit the park on a safari. Safaris are offered by a number of tour companies in the area. You can book trips before you arrive for a seamless travel experience. The park is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants. These animals are dangerous, so you are warned not to get out of the safari vehicle when you see them.
There are also many other animals living in the park, including buffalo, monkeys, and more. On some occasions, you can also see wild cats like leopards, cheetahs, or other predators basking in the sunshine. You should visit Yala National Park during the months of February to July, as this is the dry season. You can visit during the monsoon too, but expect so much mud and rain that getting out of your hostel is a troublesome.
One last sight to see in the park is the Buduruwagala temple. It is an ancient temple with one of the tallest statues of the Buddha in the world. The road to reach it is in poor shape, but the actual temple is enchanting. You can hire a local tour guide for as little as 10 dollars to take you around the temple and tell you about the history of the nearby settlement. After a long day out exploring the park and villages nearby, come back to your hostel for a BBQ outside, a feature many places offer.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Yala National Park hostels. Welcome.