Cinnamon Wild Yala
South Coast, Sri Lanka
At a Glance
A great alternative for those who wish to go on safari but would prefer not to camp
Some of the Jungle Chalets are able to interconnect, making them a good option for families
The restaurant, Tuskers, is open-air enabling guests to feel at one with their surroundings
As Cinnamon Wild is so close to the National Park, there is plenty of wildlife to see even while guests are sitting by the pool
The close proximity to the park entrance makes early morning safaris an easier experience
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island. Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions have an average temperature of 27°C. The sea stays at around 27°C all year. Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west and south coasts.
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Cinnamon Wild Yala or take a look at our itineraries to South Coast
Cinnamon Wild, formerly known as Yala Village, has a rustic chic, contemporary ambience that blends seamlessly with the surrounding wilderness – a commendable transformation achieved by Sri Lankan architect Channa Daswatte.
Cinnamon Wild is an excellent option for those who wish to experience Yala National Park but would prefer to not to camp. The 68 Jungle and Beach Chalets have been designed to make guests feel at one with their surroundings with the use of natural materials including wood and palm thatch.
Cinnamon Wild has a restaurant, Tuskers, serving eastern and western cuisine, as well as a bar with an observation deck offering a fantastic location from which to look out over the forest and the Indian Ocean. There is also a swimming pool for guests to relax beside.
The hotel is positioned 10-15 minutes away from the main National Park entrance, making it an ideal base for safaris into Yala, where you can try to catch sight of some of the amazing wildlife including leopards, sloth bears, elephants and crocodiles.
There is a beach nearby to the hotel, however due to strong currents the sea is not suitable for swimming. Other activities on offer include bird watching, nature treks and conservation talks. It is also possible to go down to Kirinda beach at night to try and spot turtles laying their eggs in the sand.
There are 68 rooms in total. 60 Jungle Chalets and 8 Beach Chalets. The Jungle Chalets are good for families as some are able to interconnect. Beach Chalets are closer to the beach and are raised up into the jungle canopy on stilts. Some of the Beach Chalets also have sea views.
All of the rooms have A/C, overhead fans, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities and a safety deposit box.
Being in the buffer zone you will find all sorts of wildlife just outside your room.
Children are welcome at Cinnamon Wild and there are activities available for younger guests such as trails for animal track identification.
The lounges, restaurant and bar are all housed in separate pavilions designed with high timber roofs and polished cement floors. The main restaurant and roof deck bar are located on the upper floors of the reception area. Other hotel facilities include laundry service and a doctor-on-call.
Rise at dawn and head to the jungles of Yala National Park, famous for leopard, elephants, sloth bear and over 150 species of birds.
Guests can enjoy a refreshing swim in the hotel's fresh water pool. There are also other activities available, including bird watching and nature treks, animals track identification trails for children and turtle watching at night on Kirinda beach.
Lucy Black (Staff)
Cinnamon Wild is definitely the best alternative to camping in Yala.
It has a relaxed atmosphere and the decor is designed to feel quite natural, with lots of wood and thatch and an asymmetrical shaped pool.
I would probably recommend the Jungle Chalets over the Beach Chalets. The Beach Chalets are on stilts and are nearer the beach, however most of them do not have sea views, and whilst you can walk along the beach, you can't swim there, and so I wouldn't say it is particularly worth the extra cost.
Some of the Jungle Chalets interconnect and so this is a good option for families. There are also lots of child-friendly activities on offer.
Afternoon Safari - Yala National Park
Enjoy an evening safari in Yala National Park. Yala is a must for anyone wanting to spot the elusive leopard, and with over 250sqkm / 96sqm of land to explore, you will likely have some luck in spotting not only leopard, but sloth bear and elephants.
Explore Galle Fort
While staying in the Galle Fort take the time to discover this fascinating colonial town, filled with history. Founded in 1588 by the Portuguese, the fort was subsequently occupied by the Dutch and the British, so there is plenty to explore.
Explore the Kapu Ela River by boat & Cycle through Rural Galle
Enjoy a scenic and immersive tour through the beautiful countryside surrounding Galle. Your journey will take you down the Kapu Ela River by boat and then by bike across the paddies, ending with a traditional Sri Lankan meal and a lesson in hopper making.
Galle Fort Tour with a Local Host
Galle’s main attraction is the 17th century Dutch Fort. Much of the old Fort and the township still remain, within its well-preserved bastions including its public buildings, churches, the famous lighthouse and a maze of narrow cobbled streets.
Hopper Cooking Class at Why House
The foodie in you will love this hands on cooking class at the beautiful Why House. A delectable Sri Lankan staple, hoppers are iconic in Sri Lanka and are delicious when served with a range of chutneys, sambols and curries.
Kanneliya Rainforest Trek
One of Sri Lanka's hidden secrets, Kanneliya Rainforest Reserve is an enchanting forest reserve which is home to some incredible wildlife. Within the thick canopy, explore this wild and undisturbed scenery, accompanied by your wildlife tracker.
Morning Safari - Yala National Park
Head into Yala National Park in the early morning to marvel at the range of wildlife, particularly the leopards for which the park is renowned.
Sailing & Snorkelling Excursion
Climb aboard a beautiful 48ft catamaran, and sail along the south coast of Sri Lanka stopping at private coves to stand-up paddle board, snorkel over colorful reefs, swim or soak up the sun while your crew take the helm.
Visit a Cinnamon Plantation
Today head to Villa Mayurana, close to Koggala on Sri Lanka's South Coast. Learn about the process of growing cinnamon and the history that goes with it. Still a major export, cinnamon has medicinal values as well as being used in everyday cooking.
Weligama - Deep Sea Fishing
Enjoy some deep sea fishing in the waters of the southern town of Weligama. Perfect for beginners or those more experienced at fishing, let your skipper help you catch some big game fish from sharks and tuna to marlin and swordfish.
Enjoy a session of whale and dolphin watching just a few miles offshore. Large pods of dolphins and, in the migration season, blue whales can be seen.
Location & directions
South Coast, Sri Lanka
Yala National Park is located on the South-East coast of Sri Lanka, 277km from Colombo.
How to get there
Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is the sole international airport in Sri Lanka and is located about 30km north of the city. Transfer times vary depending on where you fit you safari into you itinerary. Each park is approximately 6/7 hours from Colombo.