Lights. Camera. Mexico! Movie buffs rejoice—beyond the sun and sand of Mexico lies an awe-inspiring array of locations from some of the world’s best and most famous movies. So leap off that beach lounger and spice up the next adventure in Mexico—Hollywood style.
1. Rosarito, Baja Peninsula – Titanic (1997)
James Cameron’s Oscar-sweeping box office smash may have been set on the high seas, but it wasn’t made anywhere near the icy cold of the Atlantic. Instead, this 1997 story of star-crossed lovers was filmed in the warm waters lapping into Rosarito, Mexico. Tucked on the Baja Peninsula just 16 kilometres south of San Diego, Rosarito later became the go-to spot for many big budget Hollywood adventures, including Pearl Harbor.
2. Costalegre – Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
Director Quentin Tarantino’s martial arts saga is a bonafide cult classic. Kill Bill: Volume 2 follows contract killer Beatrix (Uma Thurman) as she travels to Mexico to catch up with Bill, her former lover and the man who tried to take everything from her. Costalegre (which means “Happy Coast”) is famous for Costa Careyes, a stunning estate that was formerly owned by Heidi Klum and Seal. The exclusive resort is approximately 140 kilometres south of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast.
3. Zócalo – Spectre (2015)
Even the most ardent James Bond fans will admit that the franchise is hit-and-miss. But one thing’s for sure: the pre-credit opening is always great, and Spectre features the best one yet. Set during a Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City’s Zócalo, a grand square in the downtown core, the scene kicks off in the exquisite Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, with its plush and ornate Art Nouveau décor.
4. Mexico City – Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Famed director Baz Luhrmann set his hyper-stylized version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on the Renaissance-style grounds of Mexico City’s Chapultepec Castle. Derived from the Nahuatl word chapoltepēc, meaning “at the grasshopper’s hill,” the castle sits on a sacred hilltop and played a leading role as the Capulet’s home. Bonus: it also offers spectacular views of the city and surrounding forest.
5. Puerto Vallarta – The Night of the Iguana (1964)
Starring Richard Burton as a defrocked minister acting as a tour guide to a bevy of beauties from a Baptist college, this John Huston adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play unfolds in the beautiful town of Puerto Vallarta. In many ways, the area remains unchanged, and the private Mismayola Beach lies just south of the town. When it comes to Mexico vacations, you can’t go wrong with Puerto Vallarta.