This spectacular freshwater wetland is the habitat of the largest population of wildlife in the Americas. The flood plane is a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to some 650 species; it is also inhabited by thousands of varieties of butterflies and more than 250 species of fish. From a variety of eco-lodges, knowledgeable guides lead morning and afternoon safari style drives to spot capuchin and Howler monkeys, giant anteaters, giant otters, armadillos, caimans and tapirs. A number of the lodges now have jaguar conservation programs which make the big cats much easier to spot and photograph. Other active pursuits include hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding. This vast remote area in western Brazil rivals the Amazon for wildlife viewing. The Pantanal was designated a World Natural Heritage and World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2000.