Mexican Hotspots Featured in Hollywood Films

From Night of the Iguana to Titanic, some of Hollywood's most memorable movies have been filmed south of the border. Take a tour of the top spots.

las brisas mexico
Photo courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Sure, honeymooners flock to Mexico for the amazing beaches, awesome historic sites, award-winning cuisine and romance à go-go. But there’s another reason to explore this romantic country — some of the sexiest movie scenes of all time have been filmed here. And checking out such sites on your trip of a lifetime is a cool way to explore some off-the-beaten-path places. Hooray for Hollywood!

Puerto Escondido

secrets huatulco resort and spa
Photo courtesy of Secrets Resorts & Spas

One of the most sensual movies ever made, Y Tu Mamá También is the story of two wayward lads who fall head over heels for the same woman during a road trip to the Pacific shore. Filmed near Puerto Escondido, the movie’s beach scenes exposed the naked beauty of the coastline of Oaxaca. the independent film nabbed Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy nominations and transformed Puerto Escondido from a sandy ingénue into an instant star.

Make your own love nest at Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa, just up the coast from Puerto Escondido. Set on a beach and bay that look like a strand straight from the movie, this upscale all-inclusive resort flaunts everything from top-shelf spirits and around-the-clock room service to a massive lagoon pool and a variety of water sports. All of the property’s 399 suites have ocean views with private patios or balconies, while preferred club-level rooms come with a private Jacuzzi or direct pool access. Eight restaurants, the Secrets Spa by Pevonia (try the after-dark moon & stars massage for two) and oceanfront Tangolunda golf club round out the offerings (room rates start at $473 a night and are all-inclusive;

Los Cabos

When Brad Pitt storms ashore with his greek warriors in the 2004 epic Troy, they were actually capturing the sands of Los Cabos, Mexico rather than some far-off Mediterranean beach. sSame holds true for his knock-down, drag-out fight scene with Eric Bana — filmed in the Baja desert rather than the plains of Turkey (where the real Trojan Wars took place). From Adam Sandler’s wacky You Don’t Mess with the Zohan to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the tony Los Cabos area on the west coast has provided a backdrop for many movies, while serving as a favorite retreat for the Hollywood elite.

Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston and Simon Cowell are among those who have lounged around the pool at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort. One of the area’s most romantic resorts, it’s located between the artsy San Jose del Cabo and rowdy Cabo San Lucas. The hotel’s Department of Romance offers a varied menu with treats such as an aphrodisiac dinner for two, horse-drawn carriage rides through the neighboring desert, a couples outdoor massage after dark and private movie screenings on the beach. At the whitewashed resort, even the smallest suites are spacious with adobe fireplaces, private patios and telescopes for stargazing (room rates start at $537 a night;

Puerto Vallarta

puerto vallarta
Photo courtesy of Barcelo Puerto Vallarta

At the height of his star power, Richard Burton found himself in romantic hot water both on and off the set while filming The Night of the Iguana at Playa Mismaloya just outside of bustling Puerto Vallarta. On screen he played a defrocked minister escorting a group of women on a steamy Mexican holiday; off screen he was engaged in an affair with Elizabeth Taylor that dominated the tabloids of the day. Burton and director John Huston both bought houses in the area and became frequent visitors, as did the constant swarm of paparazzi who buzzed around Liz & Dick in those days.

The all-suite, all-inclusive Barceló Puerto Vallarta overlooks Bahia Mismaloya where much of the movie was filmed. This 316-room resort comes with all the bells and whistles couples expect from a premium property including multiple bars and restaurants, four pools, 24-hour room service and a wide range of activities from tennis and golf to scuba and whale watching. Decorated with modern Mexican furniture and brightly colored fabrics and art, the spacious guest rooms have beach or garden views (room rates start at $200 and are all-inclusive;

Next: More Mexican Hollywood Hotspots