Movie Sites to See on Your Mexico Cruise
Mexico and movies go together like popcorn and butter. Along with its highly varied city, ocean, mountain and rural settings – allowing it to adapt to just about any plot line imaginable and fill in for locations as diverse as the Mediterranean and the Galapagos Islands — Mexico offers competitive economic incentives to film producers, state-of-the-art soundstages, the world’s largest aquatic stage, world-class post-production services, and a skilled production workforce. It’s no surprise, then, that dozens of well-known movies have been filmed in Mexico – including some with scenes you can visit while in port on a cruise to Mexico.
The 1964 film Night of the Iguana helped put the Pacific coast port of Puerto Vallarta on the map – not just because the John Huston-directed film was a good adaptation of the Tennessee Williams’ play, but because it became a media sensation. Night of the Iguana star Richard Burton and actress Elizabeth Taylor were then carrying on a torrid pre-marital love affair, drawing papparrazi from around the world to what was then a small fishing village with no roads leading into town, no telephones, and limited electricity. (Williams had set his play in more developed Acapulco, but Huston chose Puerto Vallarta instead.) The resulting publicity helped draw visitors by the thousands and turn picturesque Puerto Vallarta into the thriving resort it is today. So you’ll have to use your imagination a bit to picture what it looked like a half century ago – or find a copy of the movie to watch.
A 90-mile trek south of Puerto Vallarta will take you to the site of the Seal and Heidi Klum estate at Costa Careyes on the Costa Alegre. It served as the backdrop for Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill Vol. 2” (2004) when Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) catches up with Bill (David Carradine) at the hacienda.
The port of Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of Baja California has served as the site for filming parts of several major films, often used as a stand-in for other parts of the world.
Troy (2004), set during the Trojan War and starring Brad Pitt as Achilles (based loosely on the ancient Greek poet Homer’s Iliad), was filmed mostly on Malta in the Mediterranean, but used Cabo for filming some of the beach scenes. You can visit Old Lighthouse Beach (Playa El Faro Viejo) a few miles west of Cabo, where the Greek seafront encampment was located. The Baja resort also served as the location for the re-created versions of the great wall and gates of Troy.
The 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid, starring Ben Stiller, was shot in part at Cabo’s luxurious Esperanza resort, where Stiller spent much of his honeymoon romancing another woman he meets on the beach while his new wife is laid up in bed with bad sunburn. And about 50 miles north of Cabo, in Baja’s Todos Santos, director Peter Weir shot some scenes that stood in for the Galapagos Islands in the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe. While Master and Commander was the first commercial film ever shot in the Galapagos, some scenes were considered too risky for the fragile environment there, so Cabo got the nod.
The port of Guaymas, across from Baja on the Sonoran side of the Sea of Cortez, served as the principal shooting location for the black comedy war film Catch-22 (1970), based on the Joseph Heller novel and starring Alan Arkin. Eighteen World War II-era B-25 Mitchell aircraft were flown to Guaymas; 17 survived the filming and one was purposely crashed, then buried near the runway of the set erected for the film. The Mask of Zorro (1998), starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. was shot partially in Guaymas along with numerous other locations around Mexico.
The eastern shores of Mexico have also served as film settings. The romance in “Against All Odds” (1984), starring Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward, plays out on the island of Cozumel and in the Mayan ruins in Tulum south of Cancun , a popular excursion from the Costa Maya cruise port. There are also key scenes shot at Chichen Itza, the Mayan landmark on the Yucatan peninsula featuring the giant pyramid, El Castillo.
Now it’s showtime for you! Let the agents at CruiseExperts.com put you in the spotlight on a cruise to Mexico. With cold weather on the way, Mexico’s sol caliente (warm sun) awaits you. Visit www.CruiseExperts.com or call 1-888-804-CRUISE (2784).
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Kimberly Wheeler joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in September 2014. Her role as a Social Media Marketer is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. Kimberly has an extensive background in Public Relations and Marketing and a passion for engaging the public. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an option in Public Relations from Fresno State University in May 2014.