Films have a way of transporting us to different worlds, stirring up a sense of adventure and curiosity about the places we see on screen. If you’ve ever watched a film and thought, “I want to go there,” you’re not alone. Some of our favourite destinations have not only appeared in movies, but also offer amazing travel experiences too. 

Ready to be inspired? Let’s embark on a cinematic journey and explore some of the world’s most iconic film locations.

1. Thailand: Tropical Escapes and Urban Jungles

Thailand is a paradise for filmmakers and travellers alike. Remember the stunning beach in “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio? That’s Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh Island. It’s as gorgeous in real life as it is on screen, with its turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs. And then there’s James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay, made famous by “The Man with the Golden Gun.” 

Most Iconic Film Locations Beyond Tourism

But you don’t have to venture as far down as the south islands. Some of our favourite tropical spots include the likes of Koh Mak and Koh Kham – which has glorious powdery white sands. And it’s not just the beaches that have found fame! Even the bustling streets of Bangkok, featured in “The Hangover Part II,” have a unique charm that’s worth experiencing firsthand.

2. Belize: In the Footsteps of Cousteau

Belize is a tropical escape perfect for adventure seekers. The Great Blue Hole, an enormous marine sinkhole, was spotlighted in Jacques Cousteau’s documentary “The Blue Hole.” It’s a diver’s dream come true. 

Most Iconic Film Locations Beyond Tourism

Belize also boasts the second-largest barrier reef in the world, ideal for snorkelling and underwater exploration. Don’t miss the ancient Mayan ruins like Caracol and Lamanai – they add a touch of mystery and history to your journey.

3. Guatemala: Star Wars & Ancient Wonders

Guatemala is a treasure trove of history and natural beauty. The ancient city of Tikal is a must-see. It was used as a Rebel base in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” and standing among the towering temples feels like stepping into another world. For a more down-to-earth experience, visit Antigua with its colourful markets and charming colonial architecture. It’s a place where the past and present blend beautifully.

Most Iconic Film Locations Beyond Tourism

4. Peru: Mountains & Motorcycles

Peru offers landscapes that are nothing short of spectacular. Machu Picchu is the crown jewel, a stunning Incan city high in the Andes that has been the backdrop for countless films and documentaries. The Nazca Lines, with their mysterious geoglyphs, are equally fascinating. And if you’re up for an adventure, the Amazon rainforest in Peru is an experience like no other, as seen in “The Motorcycle Diaries.”

Most Iconic Film Locations Beyond Tourism

5. Sri Lanka: Mighty Rocks & Indiana Jones

Sri Lanka might be a small island, but it’s bursting with variety and cinematic allure. Take the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya – it’s dramatic, stunning, and no wonder it’s made its way into so many films.

Most Iconic Film Locations Beyond Tourism

Up in the highlands around Kandy, you’ll find the lush settings where “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” brought its jungle and rope bridge scenes to life. And who could forget Bridge on the River Kwai? The iconic bridge was actually built over the Kelani River in Kitulgala just for the film, adding a bit of Hollywood history to this fascinating place.

6.Vietnam: Famous Bays & Poignant History

Vietnam’s landscapes are straight out of a postcard. Ha Long Bay, with its towering limestone karsts and emerald waters, was stunningly featured in “Kong: Skull Island.”

Most Iconic Film Locations Beyond Tourism

The vibrant streets of Hanoi and the historic charm of Hoi An provide captivating backdrops seen in films like “The Quiet American” and “Indochine.” For a deeper dive into history, the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City offer a poignant look at the country’s past, and were notably featured in “The Deer Hunter.” Vietnam’s diverse scenery and rich history make it a compelling destination for both filmmakers and travellers alike.

7. Cambodia: Exploring Ancient Ruins

Cambodia is home to some of the most awe-inspiring ancient architecture in the world. The Angkor Wat temple complex, featured in films like “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” is a stunning example of Khmer architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Most Iconic Film Locations Beyond Tourism

Wandering through the temple ruins, especially at sunrise or sunset, feels like stepping back in time. The temples of Bayon and Ta Prohm, with their giant stone faces and tree-root-covered ruins, add to the mystical atmosphere.

7. Costa Rica: Jurassic Adventures

Costa Rica is all about natural beauty and adventure. Its lush rainforests and rich biodiversity inspired the setting for “Jurassic Park,” capturing the imagination with its wild, untamed landscapes. The rainforests of Monteverde Cloud Forest and Corcovado National Park are teeming with wildlife, perfect for nature documentaries and real-life exploration. The beaches of Manuel Antonio and the volcanoes of Arenal offer stunning views and plenty of activities. Oh, and not forgetting the adrenaline-pumping white water rafting on the Pacuare River!

Most Iconic Film Locations Beyond Tourism

Costa Rica’s commitment to eco-tourism means you can enjoy these wonders while supporting conservation efforts. While Costa Rica wasn’t the actual filming location for “Jurassic Park,” we love that its incredible ecosystems set the scene for Spielberg’s movie backdrop. But don’t worry, the closest dinosaurs you’ll find here are the vibrant scarlet macaws!

These destinations offer more than just awesome backdrops for films; they invite us all to explore, discover, and experience their unique beauty and culture. Want to create your own film-like adventure? Whether you’re seeking history, adventure, or relaxation, these cinematic locations have something for everyone.

Check out our range of exciting destinations or get in touch to start planning your adventure today!