Sri Lanka is a small miracle partly due to the compact physical diversity of this pearl–shaped island but, as we shall see, this diversity extends to virtually every aspect of life. Fringed by variously–shaped sublime beaches, from straight expanse to rocky cove, the island possesses a coastal plain containing a host of geographic features such as lagoons, wetlands, rivers and various types of wildlife–rich jungle.
The plain ends in the central area where the land starts to ascend into mist–shrouded mountains, covered in forests of wind–stunted trees (in fact there are seven different types of forest in Sri Lanka), plains known as patanas, and rolling tea plantations. In addition, the hillsides are invariably punctuated by dramatic waterfalls. For its size Sri Lanka has perhaps the largest number of waterfalls of any country.