The Unesco-listed Western Ghats – which make up one of the world's key biodiversity hotspots – form a mountainous spine unravelling from north of Mumbai down through southern India to deep-south Tamil Nadu, roughly along the border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In Kerala, the highest peak, Anamudi, reaches 2695m (it's also South India's tallest), though the average elevation is closer to 1200m. Hosting an astounding variety of endemic flora and fauna, this region is thick with national parks, tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, outstanding trekking and fragrant spice, coffee and tea plantations.
Encircled by gloriously green hills, Munnar is Kerala's major tea-producing area, while Periyar Tiger Reserve to the south is the state's most beloved outdoor playground; north from Munnar lies the impressively protected Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. Kerala's far northern Ghats are home to the serene Wayanad region, usually accessed from Calicut.