Ratnapura is located some 101 km south east of Colombo, it is the centre of a long-established industry of precious stone mining including rubies, sapphires, and other gems and well known as the City of Gems.
Apart from gem mining, the town is known for rice and fruit cultivations. Large plantations of tea and rubber surround the town. Tea grown in this region is called low-country tea.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawalawe National Park, Kitulgala, and Adam’s Peak are especially popular among tourists.