Its fields and mountain ranges, bays, rivers and lakes cover an extremely flat area of 210,000 km2, fed by tributaries of the Paraguay River, which runs through the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, as well as Bolivia and Paraguay.
The unique combination of location, gently sloping topography and seasonal rise and fall of the waters, characterised by intense rainfall in summer, gave rise to a lush, mega-diverse biome.
The imposing and magnificent scenery is the habitat of the largest concentration of wildlife in the Americas. It shelters over 650 species of birds, 400 species of fish and 80 species of mammals, many threatened with extinction.
In 2000, the Pantanal wetland was designated a World Natural Heritage and World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.