Discover Pirates of the Caribbean filming locations, James Bond sets and scenes from your favorite movies across the Caribbean. With its dazzling, white sands and crystal clear waters, it’s no wonder why so many location scouts select the Caribbean as the vibrant setting for our favorite movies.
From everybody’s favorite swashbuckling franchise to James Bond, many of these tropical islands have become recognizable as filming staples. The Caribbean’s cultural heritage, varied geography and picture-perfect beaches have often captured the imagination of directors and audiences alike. Whether it’s the entire movie or just a crucial scene, there are plenty of movies with a Caribbean backdrop. We’ve put together an extensive list of locations staggered by Captain Jack Sparrow and many other famous faces from the biggest, and sometimes more surprising, movies.
Movies filmed in the Bahamas
The Bahamas is made up of around 700 islands and thousands of cays and atolls. These islands are quintessentially Caribbean with white sands, turquoise waters and lush green palms. Some of these minute stretches of sand make for a fantastic remote island. Pirates aren’t the only movie characters to visit The Bahamas. Secret agents, vengeful sharks and serial killers have also stopped by.
Pirates of the Caribbean filming locations on the beach
This vast archipelago has been host to numerous productions and provided the backdrop for prominent scenes in the second and third installments of Disney’s pirate movies. In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest the scene where Captain Jack, Will Turner and James Norrington fight over the key to the eponymous chest containing the heart of Davy Jones was shot near Little Exuma. The fantastic beaches near the island were the ideal location to clash swords and kick about in the sand of the fictional Isla Cruces. You may also remember a Bahamian sandbar in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End where the pirate nobles Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann and Barbossa confront Lord Beckett, Will Turner and Davy Jones (yes – you’re not mistaken, Davy Jones is standing in a bucket!).
Which James Bond movie was filmed in The Bahamas?
007 has had at least three outings to The Bahamas in Thunderball, Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale. Just off the coast of Rose Island, you can still see the frame of the crashed Avro Vulcan bomber from Thunderball, it’s not far from the sunken freighter from Never Say Never Again. It’s certainly apt that the remake of Thunderball chose the same location for its underwater scenes. One of the most memorable scenes in Bond history is the scuba diving speargun fight in Thunderball which was filmed in Golden Grotto (now called Thunderball Grotto) in Staniel Cay. Bond returns again to the Bahamas in Casino Royale where he spends another night gambling in a nightspot on Paradise Island, just as he did with Largo in Thunderball. Also, the instantly recognizable scene of Daniel Craig’s run as the world-class spy, where he emerges from the sea, was filmed on a south beach on New Providence, not far from Bond’s other exploits.
Other honorable Bahamian movie mentions are Silence of the Lambs, in which Hannibal Lecter chose the somewhat spooky island of Bimini as his retirement place, some family favorites like Flipper, as well as the less-than celebrated films of Jaws: The Revenge and Speed 2: Cruise Control (the infamous crash scene, however, was filmed in Marigot, Saint-Martin).
Movies filmed in Dominica
Dominica is a lush, fertile green island with towering mountains carved by volcanic activity. Its astonishing views of ancient, jaw-dropping cliffs and dense jungle make for an impressive movie setting.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest filming locations
It’s on Dominica that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest films most of its scenes. The fictional Isla de Pelegosto, also known as Cannibal Island, is home to a tribe of hungry natives. The island was the setting for fantastic scenes of pendulum-swinging skeletal cages, Captain Jack Sparrow’s daring escape to avoid being eaten by his worshipers and pirate duo Pintel and Ragetti’s failed attempt to steal The Black Pearl. The comical scene that most remember best is Captain Jack running for his life across a Dominican beach from a crowd of cannibals before they turn their attention to an unfortunate dog (spoiler – the dog lives!). This was also the island where the crew sought out the mystical help of Tia Dalma and Sparrow claimed his beloved jar of dirt. In addition, Dominica was used as the location for Sparrow’s duel with Norrington in a huge water wheel and, in the third film, for the Brethren Court’s hideout in Shipwreck Cove.
Movies filmed in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has a lot to offer for movie scouts. The capital, Santo Domingo, is the oldest permanent settlement of European colonizers in the Americas. Its colonial, hispanic architecture is astonishing and the country often serves as a proxy for other locations.
A modern retelling of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now is set during the Vietnam War, although most of the movie was shot in the Philippines, except one scene. Perhaps one of the most iconic scenes in cinema is a helicopter air raid to the tune of Wagners’ Ride of the Valkyries (duh-duh-duh-duh-duh!). This scene was shot over the Chavón River near La Romana which is a popular vacation destination for A-list visitors to the island.
The Godfather: Part II
The colonial part of Santo Domingo was used as pre-revolutionary Havana in Cuba. Of course, any filming in post-revolutionary Cuba was difficult to accomplish so the Dominican Republic served as a close aesthetic replacement. Whilst Michael Corleone is expanding his empire in Cuba, you can spot the Duarte and Mella avenues in Santo Domingo.
Jurassic Park filming location
Jurassic Park is set on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, the other side of Costa Rica from the Caribbean, and most of the filming took place on a windswept Hawaii. However, the iconic opening scenes of the film, featuring a mosquito trapped in amber, were filmed in Puerto Plata’s Amber Museum. These early scenes served as a reference for much of the design of the first film. Unfortunately, you won’t find a t-rex in the Dominican Republic.
Located in the Greater Antilles region, Jamaica is one of the largest Caribbean islands and therefore has a great range of topography for filmmakers to choose from. From lush, green jungles, exceptional beaches and impressive waterfalls in areas like Ocho Rios, location scouts are spoilt for choice.
Bond, James Bond
Jamaica was home to James Bond creator Ian Fleming for 18 years. He lived on his Goldeneye Estate in Oracabessa and it was here that he found inspiration for the 007 novels (it was also, at one time, Bob Marley’s home). You can even stay in Fleming’s House and experience a quantum of solace on the gorgeous beach terrace. When it was finally time to put the secret agent on the silver screen in Dr. No, Fleming himself recommended Laughing Waters as the beach where Sean Connery’s James Bond would meet Ursula Andress’ Honey Ryder for the first time. Laughing Waters is the location where Dunn’s River Falls, one of Jamaica’s biggest tourist attractions, flows out to the sea. The actual falls are seen later in the film when the two can be seen splashing about.
Roger Moore’s outing in Live and Let Die, although set mainly in Louisiana, was filmed in parts of Jamaica also. Some of the most significant locations include Jamaica Swamp Safari Village, a crocodile sanctuary founded in 1970 by Ross Kananga. Kananga himself performed the real-life stunt when 007 runs across the backs of crocodiles to escape a Louisiana farm. Filmmakers even chose to name the film’s main antagonist after him. The villainous lair of the fictional Dr Kananga can be found in Green Grotto Caves near Discovery Bay. The subterranean labyrinth is a fantastic place to explore whether you’re a Bond fan or not.
Papillion is best known as Steve McQueen’s second great escape from confinement and the fantastic true story of Henri Charrière, who was convicted for a murder he didn’t commit. With the help of Dustin Hoffman’s Louis Dega, Charriere makes eight attempts to escape a penal colony in French Guiana. Most of these scenes were actually filmed above the cliffs in Negril in Jamaica, but McQueen’s nosedive was filmed in Hawaii.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Disney chose Jamaica as the location to put Kirk Douglas in aquatic peril. Although you’re unlikely to find a giant squid near the cliffs of Negril or Long Beach, these are great destinations for visitors to the island to enjoy some sun.
Cool Runnings film locations
A mention of Jamaica’s cinematic oeuvre would not be complete without their famous bobsled team. Filming took place in Discovery Bay and Kingston. You can even feel the rhythm on your own bobsled roller coaster ride at Mystic Mountain Adventure Park near Ocho Rios.
Movies filmed in Puerto Rico
The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is almost two different worlds, with colorful built-up cities and colonial architecture as well as dense mountain jungles and tropics.With such a range of scenery, it’s obvious why movie makers go to Puerto Rico.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides filming locations
The fourth installment of Captain Jack Sparrow’s adventures stars Johnny Depp opposite Penelope Cruz as Blackbeard’s daughter Angelica. After a journey on the Queen Anne’s Revenge featuring many mishaps, mermaids and conquistadors, the movie ends with Sparrow stranding Angelica on an island he is all too familiar with. Although most filming moved the franchise’s production to Hawaii, this scene was filmed on Palominito, roughly four miles off Puerto Rico’s easternmost tip. Also, the opening scene where the Spanish learn about the existence of the Fountain of Youth is filmed is Castillo San Cristóbal in Old San Juan.
Where was GoldenEye filmed?
Pierce Brosnan’s first secret mission features an edge-of-the-seat scene where he is suspended above the dish of Puerto Rico’s iconic Arecibo Observatory & Telescope, once the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. After a gritty, high-altitude battle with his former compatriot, Bond drops 006 (Sean Bean) from the platform to fall to his death. Sadly, time achieved what 007 could not in the movie and, in December 2020, the 900-tonne instrument suspended above the dish collapsed, crashing into the dish below. No one was injured but the observatory is now closed to visitors.
Movies filmed in St lucia
St Lucia is a luxe paradise with rolling green mountains of vegetation leading down to beautiful, crystal-blue waters. It’s an ideal island for both astonishing cinematography and a tranquil vacation.
Dr Dolittle filming locations
The original Doctor Dolittle (1967) portrayed by Rex Harrison, journeyed in search of a great pink sea snail. Anyone who hasn’t forgotten scenes of this movie in favor of Eddie Murphy’s or Robert Downey Jr’s more recent adventures, will remember the scenes with the ginormous pink gastropod smiling happily on the beach. These scenes were filmed in Marigot Bay in St Lucia, close to what is now known as Doolittle’s Restaurant.
Yes, even the last son of Krypton has flown by this gorgeous island. Superman flies faster than a speeding bullet to St Lucia to find exotic flowers for Lois Lane. The spandex-clad superhero is seen soaring over Jalousie Plantation in between the Pitons and Christopher Reeves is actually standing in front of the Diamond Falls in Soufriere when the man of steel is picking flowers.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
The Grenadines are a trail of 600 islets south of St Vincent. The country as a whole has volcanic geography and large tropical forests. However each island has its own unique identity offering a variety of resources for movie crews.
Pirates of the Caribbean filming locations for Port Royal
St Vincent and the Grenadines is a staple of Captain Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner’s adventures across the high seas and is used as a stand-in for a couple of real-world historical destinations. Port Royal, based on the historical harbor on the western end of Jamaica, is featured in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films. This is where the audience is given the legendary introduction to Captain Jack Sparrow as sails into port on a sinking ship. The entirety of Wallilabou Bay in St Vincent was used for the historical port and much of the set that was built on-location can still be seen today. It may seem strange many years later to see coffins with skeletons tied to trees but the traditional design of the mock-buildings offers anyone visiting the bay a taste of the pirate’s life. The unique rock formation with hanging skeletons, to which Captain Jack bows in respect, is also in Wallilabou Bay, although many mistake it for a natural arch in St Lucia. That’s not all, for Pirates of the Caribbean filming locations! In addition to Port Royal, the bay was used to represent Tortuga, a historical pirate fortress which was actually an island now belonging to Haiti.
Rum-Runne’s Isle, the island Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann are stranded on by Barbossa, the same place Sparrow had previously escaped from, was filmed on Petit Tabac, one of five islands known as the Tobago Cays, in the Grenadines.
The Caribbean has been host to dozens of filming productions throughout the years and its terrific filming locations have led to the biggest box office hits of the last few decades.
If you’re not afraid to get wet and ready to sail full force into a Caribbean vacation to see some of these on-screen locales for yourself, Top Villas has a wide range of luxury Caribbean villas.