Films shot in the Dominican Republic

By | 25 May, 2022 | 0 comments

Chavón river

Did you know that the Dominican Republic is also a very attractive destination for filming films, TV shows, documentaries or video clips?

Yes, the beauty of its beaches and its stunning sea is undeniable, but what many people don’t know is the amount of times that the international film industry has looked at this beautiful country for its productions.

Next, we are going to make a small review of some of those great productions that were filmed in the middle of the palm trees and colonial architecture.

Here we go!


The must-watch

Chavón river with palm trees

Let’s start this journey with four films that everyone should have seen and that feature Dominican scenes. Does this place look familiar? This is where Rambo escapes in the helicopter.

The Godfather II

In 1974 the scenes were filmed, pretending that they were in Havana, Cuba.

The spaces chosen for the filming were in Santo Domingo in the Parque Independencia, the El Embajador hotel, the Agua y Luz theatre, the Santo Domingo Nautical Club, the Pedro Henríquez Ureña National Library, the National Palace, Hostos street, Mella Avenue, Duarte avenue and the Padre Billini hospital.

Less than 3 hours away from our hotels in Playa Bávaro.

Rambo II

In 1985 the scene where Rambo escapes in a helicopter was filmed on the Chavón river bank in La Romana,

Its extensive reedbeds were perfect for staging John Rambo’s return to Vietnam.

It is located less than 2 hours from our hotels in Playa Bávaro.

The good shepherd 

In 2006, directed by Robert de Niro, with actors such as Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin or Robert De Niro himself.

Areas of the Colonial City in Santo Domingo or the Santiago airport were chosen to film some of the scenes in this film

The capital is less than 3 hours from our hotels in Playa Bávaro.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

The famous pirate saga was shot in different scenarios of the Caribbean, and among them is the Dominican Republic.

The area chosen was the Samaná peninsula, taking advantage of its lush vegetation, in addition to its beaches and sea. Specifically within Samaná it was filmed in an area called Cayo de los Pájaros.

We suggest you make an excursion to Samaná from our hotels, it is in the top 5 of the best in Punta Cana. Due to its remoteness, it would be best if the excursion is a whole day so that you can fully enjoy the place.


Caribbean Flavour

We continue with four more films, where you can breathe the best of the Dominican Republic: the Caribbean flavour, the colours, the beach, etc

The Feast of the Goat

From 2005, this film based on the homonymous novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, is based on the end of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, therefore, obviously, the Dominican Republic was chosen as a setting for most of the exteriors.

With actors such as Isabella Rossellini or Juan Diego Botto, they mainly used scenarios in Santo Domingo, such as the National Palace, the Gazcue neighbourhood but also the La Romana area, or Jarabacoa’s landscapes.

If you visit our article about the 5 best excursions in Punta Cana, you will find the visit to the capital, where we will explain more spots to discover and make the most of the visit.


In 1990, starring Robert Redford, several of the scenes were filmed in Santo Domingo since it was not possible to shoot them in Cuba.

It is really not the only film that has had to use the Dominican Republic to represent Cuba, the same thing happened in the 2015 film The King of Havana.

Dance With Me

In 1998, also known as Baila Conmigo, this film starred among others Chayanne, the Puerto Rican singer, who plays the role of a Cuban dancer.

But when they had to shoot the scenes that placed him in Cuba at the beginning of the film, it wasn’t possible to do so, and they turned to the Dominican Republic as many other films have done.

The Blue Lagoon

In 1980, the famous Saona island was the backdrop of the film Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields, the director chose this beautiful place for its unique beauty.

This beautiful landscape is only an hour from our Princess Punta Cana hotels. And it is one of the best places to start diving, if you want to know more click on our article on Diving in the Caribbean.

You can fantasize about snorkelling as the protagonists do.


Pure Adrenaline

If you are keen on action cinema, this is your section.

Can you imagine walking the streets of Santo Domingo where Vin Diesel once passed?

Miami Vice

In 2006, the famous Miami Vice film chose different areas of Santo Domingo as a setting, specifically areas such as the Malecon or the colonial city’s historic centre, used to emulate Port-au-Prince (Haiti).

XXX: The Return of the Xander Cage

In 2017, again the actor Vin Diesel opted for the Dominican Republic to film some of the extreme adventure scenes of XXX: the return of Xander Cage.

The area chosen was San Pedro de Macorís, an exuberant setting of subtropical vegetation, rivers, mountains, and native flora. Also in some scenes you can see Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata or Baní.

City that is located about an hour and a half from our Princess hotels.

Fast and Furious 3.5, 4 y 7

It is no secret that actor Vin Diesel is in love with the country and likes to be able to include scenes from the Dominican Republic in his films. In fact, he has openly acknowledged that the idea for the first film arose on one of his trips through these lands.

The beaches of Monte Cristi, the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, Santa Barbara, or the Malecon of Santo Domingo, are some of the areas where scenes of Fast and Furious have been filmed.


Action comedy

Los Haitises

Fancy a little comedy? With these three films you have a few laughs assured.

Why not fantasize about hiking in this beautiful setting, like Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum?

The True Memoirs of an International Assassin

In 2016, this Film, a Netflix production, was filmed in the Dominican Republic.

The places in this case, where the scenes of the film were recorded, were Santo Domingo, Boca Chica and Monte Plata.

Shotgun Wedding

In 2021, the Dominican Republic was the setting chosen to record this romantic action comedy film by Jennifer López.

The areas of the country where it was recorded were between Cabrera and Playa Grande, Sánchez, Samaná, as well as nearby landscapes of the northeast coast and some scenes between Río San Juan, Juan Dolio and Punta Cana.

The Lost City

In 2021, Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe and Brad Pitt premiered The Lost City.

This action film was shot entirely in the Dominican Republic, in different areas of the country such as Miches and Samaná.

So if you want adventure, it’s nearby. Miches is just one hour from the Princess Punta Cana hotels.


Cinema in the Dominican Republic Trivia

Mosquito in amber

Let us tell you 2 things you might not know about the cinematographic world in the Dominican Republic

Jurassic Park

Did you know that the piece of amber with the mosquito inside is in the Dominican Republic?

Indeed that piece of amber is real and is in the amber museum in Puerto Plata in the north of the country. It’s amazing that that mosquito inspired to create and design the entire plot of a hit movie.

Aquatic fliming

Did you know that the Dominican Republic has one of the most modern water tanks in the world for filming?

In the area of Juan Dolio you can find these aquatic facilities used very often for filming. The underwater studio of Pinewood Studios UK. It is characterized by being the only permanent water studio and also being close to the sea, there are angles from which it becomes an infinity pool thanks to the visual extension of the sea and the tank.

One of the great advantages of the tank is its proximity to the United States. Some films that have scenes filmed in the Dominican Republic tank are The Return of Xander Cage; 47 Meters Down; 47 Meters Down Uncaged; Malibu Games; On the Line; Capsized: Blood on the Water and The Detour.


Are you a film lover? Would you like to take advantage of your trip to see all these scenarios? Enjoy and book in one of our Princess Punta Cana hotels, it will be your starting point for all these excursions, in addition to relaxing on our paradisiacal beach, Playa Bávaro.

We would be happy to hear your impressions! Tell us what you think.

Categories: Caribbean, Punta Cana

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