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Mexico Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Mexico? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Mexico

For an introduction to shooting in Mexico see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, fringes, premiums, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Mexico Film Locations

Mexico is a North American country that offers a wealth of film locations including megacities, Spanish colonial architecture, museums, churches, Pacific and Caribbean waters, beaches, cenotes, caves, deserts, volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, jungles, parks, and much more.

For travel and food productions, Mexico offers an impressive diversity of regional cuisines. Agricultural film locations include fields of corn, wheat, sugarcane, tomatoes, avocados, oranges, grapes, coffee, cotton, wine grapes, and a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Mexico is also known for its vineyards and cheese makers. Industrial locations include factories producing electronics, automobiles, aircraft, and textiles. Mexico also has silver, copper, and zinc mines, as well as oil and gas facilities. Energy locations include nuclear power plants, hydroelectric dams, and oil and gas fired power plants.

Mexico has hosted a long list of impressive productions including Saw X (2023), Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (2022), Midnight Family (2019), Spectre (2015), Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015), Elysium (2013), Che (2008), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Apocalypto (2006), Frida (2002), Titanic (1997), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Clear and Present Danger (1994), Total Recall (1990), Predator (1987), Dune (1984), Romancing the Stone (1984), Close Encounters of The Third Kind (1977), Sorcerer (1977), The Magnificent Seven (1960), and many more.

Film locations can be divided into the following regions:

Baja California

This northwestern region located between the Pacific and Gulf of California includes the states of Baja California, and Baja California Sur.

Baja California. Tijuana is the state’s largest city. Film locations include the Tijuana Cultural Center, Trompo Interactive Museum, Morelos Park, and Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

Valle de Guadalupe is famous for its vineyards.

Surf beaches of note include Rosarito, Ensenada, Baja Malibu, K-38, and San Miguel.

For local fare, head to the beach for a cerveza and tacos de pescado.

Baja California Sur is best known for its beaches and resort towns.

Cabo San Lucas is a popular resort city.

Cabo Pulmo National Park is known for its underwater photography.

Mobula rays can be seen leaping out of the water in the Sea of Cortez.

Isla Espíritu Santo is a beautiful arid island with azure seas.

Baja California Sur beaches of note include Playa Balandra, Lovers Beach, El Medano Beach, Santa Maria Beach, Punta Lobos, Playa El Coromuel, Playa El Tesoro, Playa El Tecolote, Costa Azul Beach, and Cerritos Beach.

Stuffed clams are the local culinary specialty.

Northern Mexico

This northern border region includes the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Sonora, and Tamaulipas.

Chihuahua. Ciudad Juárez sits across the border from the Texas city of El Paso. Film locations include the Museum of Revolution in the Borderland, Monument to the Mexican People, Art Museum Ciudad Juarez, US-Mexico border, Ciudad Juárez Mormon Temple, and Cathedral of Ciudad Juárez.

Chihuahua City is know for its historic buildings including the Palacio de Gobierno, Chihuahua Cathedral, Semilla Museum Center of Science and Technology, and the Belle Epoque-era Quinta Gameros building.

Copper Canyon is a spectacular arid location. The Chihuahua Pacific Railway passes through the landscape. Basaseachic Falls, Piedra Volada Falls, and Cusarare Waterfall are located in Copper Canyon.

The Cave of Crystals in Naica has some of the largest crystal structures ever found. Note, permission to film in the Cave of Crystals can take up to a year.

The Dunas de Samalayuca double well for Sahara desert looks.

Parque Nacional Canon de Santa Elena sits opposite Big Bend National Park in Texas.

Casas Grandes is a prehistoric archaeological site.

For local delicacies, Chihuahua cheese is a soft white cheese produced by the local Mennonite communities.

Coahuila. Saltillo is a beautiful Spanish colonial city. Film locations include the Desert Museum, Museo de la Katrina, and Saltillo Cathedral.

Poza Azul is a natural turquoise coloured pool located in the desert.

Termas de San Joaquín is a hot springs.

The gypsum dunes are bright white sand dunes located in Cuatrocienegas.

Bilbao Dunes are located in Viesca.

A white marble quarry, located in Cuatrociénegas, is available for film projects.

Coahuila is known for its cattle ranches. Machaca con huevo is a traditional beef dish.

Durango. Durango is the “Land of Cinema”, having had hosted over 120 film productions including The Revenant (2015), Predator (1987), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and Ben-Hur (1959), and many more.

Old West Town is a Western movie set location.

Durango City is known for Plaza de Armas, and Cathedral Basilica of Durango.

El Salto Waterfalls are a beautiful film location.

Mapimí Silent Zone is a mysterious desert region known as the Zone of Silence.

The Devil’s Backbone is one of the world’s most dangerous roads.

As for local cuisine, Caldillo Duranguense is a hearty stew made with dried meat and red chilli.

Nuevo León. Monterrey is a modern industrial and technological hub. Film locations of note in Monterrey include the Fundidora Park, Macroplaza, Paseo Santa Lucía, Palacio de Gobierno, Palacio del Obispado, Monterrey Cathedral, Museum of Contemporary Art, Mexican History Museum, Museo del Acero Horno 3, Museo del Noreste, Planetarium Alfa, Puente de la Unidad, and Estadio BBVA.

Cascada Cola de Caballo is a beautiful waterfall.

Parque La Huasteca is a spectacular mountain canyon.

El Potrero Chico is an internationally renowned rock climbing area.

La Estanzuela Monterrey Natural Park is known for its forests, waterfalls, and swimming holes.

For traditional local cuisine, cabrito is a goat slow cooked over a wood fire and served with charros.

Sinaloa. Located on the Gulf of California, the resort city of Mazatlán is known for Mazatlán Cathedral, and Malecón de Mazatlán.

Picturesque colonial towns of note include Cosalá, El Fuerte, El Rosario and Mocorito.

Seafood such as aguachile is a traditional dish from Sinaloa.

Sonora. Hermosillo is the largest city in the state. Film locations include Sonora Museum of Art, Hermosillo Cathedral, Palacio de Gobierno, and Old Penitentiary Sonora.

El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve is known for its shifting sand dunes and spectacular volcanic craters located in the heart of the Sonoran desert.

Nacapule Canyon is a beautiful film location.

Mirador San Carlos offers spectacular coastal locations.

Puerto Peñasco is a popular beach location for visitors driving in from Arizona.

Álamos and Magdalena del Kino are two charming colonial towns.

Isla San Pedro Mártir is known for the elephant cactus, and its population of blue-footed boobies.

Known for its ranches and sunny climate, local culinary specialties are very meat heavy. Machaca is a popular dish served with eggs for breakfast.

Tamaulipas is located on the Gulf of Mexico.

Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Matamoros are border cities.

Tampico is a once-beautiful tropical port city often compared to New Orleans for its French-style buildings.

Two traditional local dishes of note include torta de la barda, and ceviche de lisa.

The Bajío

This centrally located region includes the states of Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, and Querétaro.

Aguascalientes is a small state located in central Mexico. Aguascalientes is a beautiful Spanish colonial city known for Plaza de las Tres Centurias, Catedral de Aguascalientes, San Marcos Garden, Aguascalientes Theatre, and National Museum of Death. The state is a big producer of guava. Pork ribs in guava sauce are a local specialty.

Guanajuato. León is the largest city in the state. Film locations of note include the Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, León Cathedral, Forum Cultural Guanajuato, Museum of Art and History of Guanajuato, Plaza Fundadores, Plaza Principal, and Triumphal Arch of the Causeway of the Heroes.

The city of Guanajuato is known for its Spanish colonial architecture, winding lanes, tunnels, stairs, and colourful hillside buildings. Film locations of note include the Regional Museum of Guanajuato, Alhóndiga de Granaditas, University of Guanajuato, Diego Rivera’s House Museum, Mercado Hidalgo, Teatro Juarez, Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora, La Valenciana Church, and San Gabriel de Barrera hacienda, Casa de los Lamentos, Torture Museum, and a Mummies Museum. Estadio Aguilar y Maya is a baseball stadium with an impressive city backdrop. City panoramic views can be filmed from Pipila Monument which can be reached by road or funicular. El Cerro de La Bufa offers city and rugged mountain views, as well as rock climbing.

San Miguel de Allende is an impressive Spanish colonial city and home to artists from all over the world. Film locations of note include the Fabrica la Aurora, Parroquia de San Miguel, Charco Del Ingenio, Parque Benito Juárez, Mercado de Artesanías, Ignacio Ramírez Market, and Templo de San Francisco.

Dolores Hidalgo is known for Casa Museo José Alfredo Jiménez, Museo de Sitio Casa de Hidalgo, Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, and Mausoleo José Alfredo.

Museo Exconvento de San Agustín is an imposing building in Yuriria.

Cañada de la Virgen is an Otomi archaeological site.

Plazuelas is an archaeological site.

Enchiladas mineras are a traditional Guanajuato dish.

Zacatecas is a dry, rugged state known for the yucca cactus.

Zacatecas City is known for its Spanish colonial architecture. Film locations include Cathedral Basilica of Zacatecas, Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Fátima, Notaría de la Parroquia de Santo Domingo, Plazuela Miguel Auza, Teatro Calderon, Museo de Arte Abstracto Manuel Felguerez, Museo Rafael Coronel, Museo Pedro Coronel, and Mina El Edén.

La Quemada is an archeological site.

Sierra de Órganos National Park is a beautiful arid landscape known for its towering rock formations.

For traditional Zacatecan dishes try the asado de boda.

San Luis Potosí. The city of San Luis Potosí is know for the San Luis Potosí Cathedral, Teatro de La Paz, Alameda Theater, Plaza de Armas, Plaza del Carmen, Plaza de Aranzazu, Plaza Fundadores, Leonora Carrington Museum, Museo Laberinto de las Ciencias y las Artes, Museo Federico Silva, Museo Nacional de la Máscara, Museo Regional Potosino, Museo del Virreinato de San Luis Potosí, Contemporary Art Museum, and Train Museum.

Real de Catorce is a former silver mining town. It has long been a pilgrimage site for both Catholics and Huichol shamanists. Peyote ceremonies can be experienced in the surrounding desert areas.

Matehuala is known for Matehuala Cathedral, and Plaza De Armas.

The Cave of Swallows in San Luis Potosí, is the largest known cave shaft in the world with a 370 meter (1,214 ft) drop. Drone filming and base jumping into the cave are not permitted, although some accommodations may be made. Rappelling into the cave is permitted.

The Huasteca Potosina region is known for its tropical jungle, azure blue waters, and Tamul Waterfall.

Other beautiful waterfalls of note include Puente de Dios, Cascadas de Micos, Cascada el Meco, Cascadas de Minas Viejas, and Cascada Salto del Agua.

Manantial Media Luna is a cenote.

Xilitla is famous for the surrealist sculptures of Las Pozas garden, created by Edward James. A Leonora Carrington museum is also located in Xilitla.

Traditional San Luis Potosí dishes to look out for include picadillo, cecina de res, gorditas, and chiles rellenos de queso.

QuerétaroQuerétaro City is a beautiful Spanish colonial city and major business centre. Film locations include Querétaro Cathedral, Templo de Santa Rosa de Viterbo, Templo y Convento de la Santa Cruz de los Milagros, Templo de Teresitas, Querétaro Regional Museum, Museo de Arte de Querétaro, Museum of Contemporary Art, MUCAL Museo Calendario, Museo de la Ciudad, Museo de Arte Sacro, Vermin Museum, Theater of the Republic, Jardín Guerrero, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de los Fundadores, and Acueducto de Querétaro.

Bernal is a Spanish colonial village known for the Peña de Bernal monolith.

The Pyramid of El Cerrito is an archaeological site in El Pueblito.

The Sierra Gorda is a diverse and rugged landscape known for its steep mountains, deep canyons, rivers, and waterfalls such as Cascada El Chuveje. Wildlife of note includes jaguars, pumas, black bears, green parrots, and a diversity of butterflies.

Querétaro is known for its ranches, wine, and cheese production. One of the best known dishes from the area is chivo tapeado – goat meat with chilli which is slow cooked in the ground.

Central Mexico

This centrally located region includes the states of Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico State, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz.

Hidalgo. Pachuca film locations include the Monumental Clock Tower, and Pachuca Saint Francis of Assisi Monastery.

The Tolantongo Caves is a beautiful resort located in Hidalgo.

Tula is a Mesoamerican archeological site.

El Chico National Park is known for its ancient conifer forests.

Biosphere de Metztitlán is known for its steep cliffs and deep winding canyons.

Barabacoa is the state dish of Hidalgo.

Mexico City. Mexico’s densely populated, high-altitude national capital is a patchwork of rolling, endless neighbourhoods known for its Spanish colonial architecture, contemporary buildings, archaeological sites, museums, parks, and urban slums. Mexico City sits at the high altitude of 2,240m (7,350ft).

Templo Mayor is a Mesoamerican archaeological site.

Parque Quetzalcóatl was designed by Javier Senosiain.

Chapultepec Castle is located in Chapultepec Park.

Museums of note include National Museum of Anthropology, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Museo Nacional De Arte, Museo Mural Diego Rivera, Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli, Frida Kahlo Museum, Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, National Museum of History at Chapultepec Castle, Museo de Historia Natural, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Museo Soumaya, Museo Jumex designed by David Chipperfield, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Museo de Arte Popular, Museo de Arte Moderno, Memory and Tolerance Museum, Franz Mayer Museum, Leon Trotsky House Museum, Universum, Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico, Museo Nacional de las Culturas, Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Museo de Cera, Museo del Estanquillo, Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones, Museo del Tequila and Mezcal, Museo del Chocolate, and College of San Ildefonso.

Churches of note include the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral on the Zócalo, Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Convent of San Francisco, and Church of San Felipe Neri.

Public buildings of note include the National Palace, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Palacio Postal, and Los Pinos which was the former residence of the President of Mexico.

Gran Hotel Ciudad de México is a beautiful hotel.

Markets of note include Ciudadela Market, San Juan Market, Coyoacan Market, Sonora Market, and Roma Market.

Entertainment venues of note include National Auditorium, Estadio Azteca, Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Estadio Jalisco, and Estadio BBVA. The Plaza de Toros México is the world’s largest bullring.

Torres de Satélite, Casa Barragán, Casa Gilardi, and Cuadra San Cristóbal were designed by Luis Barragán.

The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is a motor sport race track that hosts the Mexican Formula One Grand Prix.

Island of the Dolls is a haunting location in the channels of Xochimilco.

Total Recall (1990) filmed in Mexico City’s subways.

Neza-Chalco-Ixta is Mexico City’s largest slum.

Six Flags México is a theme park located in the Tlalpan forest.

Other Mexico City film locations of note include the House of Tiles, Palace of Iturbide, Palace of the Inquisition, Monument to the Revolution, Angel de la Independencia, Paseo de la Reforma, Torre Latinoamericana, Torre Insignia, Palmas 555, and Reforma 27.

In terms of cuisine, Mexico City offers a wealth of offerings from regional to international, street food to Michelin star restaurants.

Mexico State. Teotihuacan’s Sun and Moon Pyramids are spectacular Mesoamerican ruins only a 1 hour drive from Mexico City.

Templo de Quetzalcóatl is a pre-Columbian archaeological site.

Volcanic Crater of Xico is also located on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Toluca is known for Nevado de Toluca volcano, and Cosmovitral botanical garden.

Arcos del Sitio, and Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque are impressive structures.

For a culinary experience, tlacoyos and pulque are traditional state dishes.

Morelos. Cuernavaca is known for the Zócalo, Palacio de Cortés, Catedral de Cuernavaca, Centro Cultural Teopanzolco, Robert Brady Museum, and Jardín Borda.

Just outside of Cuernavaca you can find the Xochicalco pyramids, and Lagunas de Zempoala National Park.

Traditional dishes hailing from this state include pozole, tacos acorazados, and pepita mole.

Puebla. The city of Puebla is an impressive Spanish colonial city located only 2 hours drive from Mexico City. Puebla film locations include International Museum of the Baroque designed by Toyo Ito, Biblioteca Palafoxiana, Puebla tunnels, Museo Amparo, Museo Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Mexicanos, Museo Regional De La Revolución, Automobile Museum, Estrella de Puebla Ferris wheel, Victoria Market, Parian Market, Acocota Market, Puebla Cathedral, Chapel of the Virgen del Rosario, Convent Church of San Francisco, San Gabriel Franciscan Convent, Church of La Compañía, Church of San Francisco Acatepec, and Templo de Santa María Tonantzintla.

The church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, located in Cholula, has a backdrop of the snow-covered active Popocatépetl volcano. The Great Pyramid of Cholula is a huge archaeological complex located in Cholula.

Hacienda de Chautla is a mansion in Puebla.

Yohualichan is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site.

Large Millimeter Telescope is located on top of the Sierra Negra volcano.

Quetzalapan Waterfall is a beautiful location.

Puebla is known for classic dishes such as mole poblano, and chile en nogada, as well as street food including cemitas, chalupas and tacos Árabes.

Tlaxcala. The city of Tlaxcala is known for Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral, Basilica of Our Lady of Ocotlán, Parroquia de San José, Xicotencatl Theatre, and Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Tlaxcala.

Cacaxtla and Xochitecatl are archaeological sites.

La Malinche National Park has a dormant volcano.

Fireflies Sanctuary of Tlaxcala is located near Nanacamilpa.

Local cuisine is heavily influenced by indigenous cooking. Traditional dishes of note include xocoyoles, tlatlapas, huauzontles, and escamoles.

Veracruz is located on the Gulf Coast.

The port city of Heroica Veracruz is known for the Foro Boca building, San Juan de Ulúa fortress, Cathedral of Veracruz, Mexico Naval Museum, Carranza lighthouse, and Veracruz container port.

Palacio de Hierro, located in Orizaba, is a mansion designed by Gustave Eiffel.

The Museo de Antropología de Xalapa is located in Xalapa.

Foro Boca is a beautiful building located in Boca del Río.

El Tajín and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán are archaeological sites.

Veracruz is home to Mexico’s highest mountain, Pico de Orizaba.

Waterfalls of note include Cascada de Texolo, Cascada El Salto de Eyipantla, Cascada De San Pedro Soteapan, and Cascada De La Monja.

Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Station is located in Alto Lucero.

Local dishes of note include chilpachole, arroz a la tumbada, and picadas. 

Pacific Coast

The Pacific Coast region includes the states of Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Oaxaca.

Colima. Manzanillo is a port and resort city known for its beaches and marlin fishing.

The Revillagigedo Archipelago is a marine sanctuary in the Pacific Ocean 720km (450mi) west of Manzanillo.

Colima City is the state capital.

Tamales de ceniza (ash tamales) are a traditional local lunch dish.

Guerrero. Acapulco is a storied resort city known for beachfront high-rise buildings with a forested mountain backdrop. Fort San Diego is a colonial star fort in Acapulco. La Quebrada is an iconic cliff where divers plunge 40m into the ocean below. Isla de La Roqueta has beautiful beaches and azure seas.

Taxco is known for its colonial architecture such as Parroquia de Santa Prisca y San Sebastían. Outside of the city you can find the beautiful Pozas azules de Atzala.

Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Caverns are one of the largest cave systems in the world.

Local cuisine is heavily influenced by indigenous cooking. One dish of note, Relleno is a suckling pig stuffed with fruit and vegetables and cooked all night.

Jalisco. Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city. Film locations of note include Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco, Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento, Guadalajara Cathedral, Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan, Plaza de Armas, University of Guadalajara, Regional Museum of Guadalajara, Mercado Libertad, Auditorio Telmex, and Estadio Akron. On the outskirts of the city you can find La Barranca de Huentitán.

Puerto Vallarta is a resort city known for its beaches and seafood. Locations of note include the Malecón, Zona Romántica, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, and Church Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe. Puerto Vallarta beaches of note include Los Muertos Beach, Conchas Chinas Beach, Playa Punta Negra, and Camarones Beach.

Los Arcos National Marine Park and the bomb-created Islas Marietas National Park are located near Puerto Vallarta.

The picturesque beach town of Yelapa is located near Puerto Vallarta.

Lake Chapala is the country’s largest lake.

The home of mariachi music and tequila, Jalisco is also known for traditional dishes including torta ahogada and birria.

Michoacán. Morelia is known for its Spanish colonial architecture including Morelia Cathedral, Templo de San Francisco de Asís, Aqueduct of Morelia, and Centro Cultural Clavijero.

The impressive Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe is located in the city of Zamora.

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve is known for its monarch butterflies.

Parícutin is a cinder cone volcano.

The church of San Juan Parangaricutiro is an abandoned ruin that sits buried under a field of lava.

Pátzcuaro is known for its churches and convents such as the Temple Sagrario.

The nearby town of Janitzio sits on an island in the middle of Lake Pátzcuaro.

Michoacán beaches of note include Playa Maruata, Playa Pichilinguillo, and Playa la Llorona.

Tzararacua waterfalls are a beautiful location near Uruapan.

Local cuisine is heavily influenced by indigenous cooking. Corundas are a popular local snack.

Nayarit. The Riviera Nayarit, located close the city of Puerto Vallarta, is best known for its picturesque beach towns such as Sayulita, San Pancho, Punta Mita, and Bucerias.

The Island of Mexcaltitán is the Venice of Mexico.

Nayrit is known for its seafood specialties such as pescado zarandeado and shrimp ceviche.

Oaxaca. The city of Oaxaca is known for its Spanish colonial buildings. Locations of note include the Oaxaca Cathedral, Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Soledad, Zócalo Oaxaca, Museum of Cultures, El Teatro Macedonio Alcalá, Botanical Gardens, Mercado 20 de Noviembre, Mercado Benito Juárez, and Mercado de Artesanias de Oaxaca.

Puerto Escondido is an under-explored bohemian beachside location. Film locations include Playa Zicatela, Puerto Angelito Beach, Playa Carrizalillo, and Playa Bacocho.

Other Oaxacan beaches of note include Playa Estacahuite, Playa Mazunte, Playa San Agustinillo, Playa Zipolite, Playa Tangolunda, Bahia San Agustin, Playa La Punta, Playa Arrocito, Lagunas de Chacahua, Barra de La Cruz, Playa Roca Blanca, and Playa Rinconcito.

Mitla and Monte Alban are important archaeological ruins.

Hierve el Agua is an impressive film location.

Cuajinicuilapa is a historically Afro-Mexican town.

Mexico’s food capital, Oaxaca is famous for its mezcals, moles, quesillo, and chocolate. Oaxaca is also known to have one of the best Dia de Los Muertos festivals in Mexico.

Yucatán and the South

This southeastern region located on the Gulf Coast and Caribbean Sea includes the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatán.

Campeche. The city of Campeche is known for its colonial buildings and walled historic district including Fort San Miguel, Cienfuegos Cathedral, and Ex-Templo de San José.

Campeche has many important Mayan archaeological sites including Calakmul, Balamku, Xpuhil, Hormiguero, Edzna, and Becan.

The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve rainforest is home to wildlife including jaguars, jaguarundis, ocelots, pumas, margays, toucans, and parrots.

Beaches of note include Playa Sabancuy, Playa Isla Aguada, Playa Punta Xen, Playa Bahamita, and Playa Bonita.

Panuchos are a street food speciality. Postre de Chicozapote is a crème brulée style dessert made from the sweet, malty chicozapote fruit.

Chiapas is known for its mountainous highlands, dense rainforest, Mayan archaeological sites, and Spanish colonial towns.

San Cristóbal de las Casas is a highland city known for Parque Central, San Cristóbal Cathedral, Templo y Ex-Convento Santo Domingo, Arco del Carmen, and Museo Mesoamericano del Jade.

Palenque is one of the world’s most impressive Mayan archaeological sites. Other Mayan sites of note include Yaxchilán, Bonampak, Chinkultic and Toniná.

Chiapas has many impressive waterfalls including Agua Azul, Misol-Há, El Chiflón, Roberto Barrios, El Chorreadero, and El Aguacero.

Sumidero Canyon is a spectacular location in Sumidero Canyon National Park.

Lagunas de Montebello National Park is known for its lakes, pine forests, and Mayan ruins.

El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve is an evergreen cloud forest landscape. Wildlife of note include spider monkeys, margays, jaguars, pumas, and a diversity of birdlife and butterflies.

Arco del Tiempo is a beautiful gorge location in Cintalapa.

Laguna Miramar is an azure lake surrounded by jungle.

El Chichón is an active volcano.

Chicoasén Dam is Mexico’s largest dam.

The highlands of Chiapas are known for their coffee plantations. Estofado de pollo en frutas is a traditional stew made with local fruit and chicken.

Quintana Roo. The Mayan Riviera is known for its beautiful Caribbean white sand beaches and turquoise waters.

Cancun and Playa del Carmen are major resort towns.

Isla Mujeres and Cozumel are popular islands for white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and coral reefs with a rich diversity of tropical fish.

Cancún Underwater Museum is known for its underwater sculpture park.

Akumal and Tulum are smaller beach towns.

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is renowned for its natural beauty.

Laguna de Kaan Luum is a shallow turquoise lake around a deep central pool.

Cenotes are beautiful swimming holes that offer spectacular underwater photography, particularly where fresh water floats on top of salt water. Quintana Roo has many beautiful cenotes including Dos Ojos Cenote, Gran Cenote, Aktun Chen Cenote, Chaak Tun, Cenote Carwash, Cenote Tajma Ha, Río Secreto, Cenote Naharon, Cenote Multum-Ha, Cenote Cristalino, Cenote Taak Bi Ha, and Cenote Calavera.

Beaches of note include Playa Paraíso, Playa Norte, Playa Delfines, Playa Akumal, Playa Xpu-Ha, Playa Maroma, Playa Palancar, Playa Langosta, Playa Punta Esmeralda, Playa Caracol, and Playa Punta Cocos.

Quintana Roo is known for its Mayan ruins. Tulum Mayan ruins sit against a backdrop of white sand beaches and the Caribbean sea. Coba Mayan ruins are also very impressive and more film-friendly in terms of less tourists. Other Mayan ruins of note include Muyil, Chacchoben, and Dzibanche.

Quintana Roo cuisine is heavily influenced by its Mayan roots in its use of traditional herbs and spices as well as indigenous animals such as hogs and turkey. The region’s signature dish is Cochinita pibil, pulled pork seasoned with annatto paste and bitter orange, is traditionally cooked underground in a banana leaf.

Tabasco. Villahermosa film locations include Villahermosa Cathedral, Plaza de Armas, Casa De Los Azulejos, and Regional Museum of Anthropology.

Comalcalco is an ancient Mayan archaeological site.

Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve is a freshwater swamp forest. Wildlife of note include Morelet’s crocodiles, jaguars, mantled howler monkeys, tropical gars, and a diversity of birdlife.

Villa Luz Waterfalls are a beautiful film location.

Traditional dishes of note include pejelagarto asardo, yuca en naranja, and platanitos rellenos de carne.

Yucatán is known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches, beautiful cenotes, and famous Mayan ruins.

Mérida film locations include Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, Plaza Grande, Paseo de Montejo, Mérida Cathedral, Palacio Cantón, Palacio de la Música, and Mansión Mérida Hotel. Progreso Pier is one of the world’s longest piers.

Valladolid Convent of San Bernardino de Siena, and Iglesia de San Servacio.

Convento de San Antonio is located in Izamal.

The world famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza are located in the Yucatán. Other important archaeological sites include Uxmal, Mayapan, Dzibilchaltún, and Ekʼ Balam.

Yucatán cenotes of note include Ik Kil, Suytun, Xcanche, Xkekén, Xlacah, X’batun, Yokdzonot, Kankirixche, Sacred Cenote, Dzitnup, Zaci, Cenote Hubiku, Sambulá, Hacienda Cenote Oxmán, and Cenotes Hacienda Mucuyché.

Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve is a wetlands location home to a diversity of birdlife such as flamingos.

Chicxulub crater is one of the largest impact craters on earth.

Local cuisine is heavily influenced by indigenous cooking. Regional dishes of note include sopa de lima and poc chuc.

Mexico Film Location Permits

Mexico can be quite slow and bureaucratic when it comes to permitting. Most permits are arranged on the local level and permission from several departments may be required. Depending on the location and specifics of the shoot, permits can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months. Allow as much time as possible for shoots requiring exclusive use of public space. For shoots in national parks or historic sites, allow at least a month lead time for permitting. At present, Mexico is open to drone filming in most unrestricted areas.

Filming Pre-Columbian ruins (Mayan, Aztec, Teotihuacan, etc.) is possible but you need to go through the rigorous approval process with the board that governs these protected areas. The process can take up to a month. There is no fee to submit the permit application. Permission to film at Mayan ruins is typically not granted for commercial productions. If it is granted for a commercial project, it is usually only for general shots of the location, not for any action taking place with actors or presenters. Permission is more likely to be granted if the shoot is for the promotion or benefit of Mexico tourism or culture. Guatemala and Belize offer easier access to filming ruins however everything else must come from abroad, which can considerably add to the costs of filming.

Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

The climate of Mexico varies considerably depending on the region and time of the year. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Mexico is home to many colourful fiestas held throughout the year including:

• Carnaval in February / March.
• Semana Santa in March / April.
• Guelaguetza Festival in July.
• Mexican Formula One Grand Prix takes place in Mexico City in October.
• Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) in November.
• The Baja 1000 in November.
• Bullfighting, bull leaping (recortadores), and charreada events take place throughout the year.
• Lucha Libre contests take place throughout the year.

Mexico is a predominately Christian country, so those holidays are observed.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Mexico.

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. The USD is strong against the Mexican Peso. In general, filming in Mexico is much less expensive than filming in the US. Mexico is a large country and many locations require extensive travel. Although some crew and equipment can be found around the country, Mexico City is the main service centre. Mexico City is a large, sprawling city that can take several hours to reach the city limits. That said, our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. Mexico offers tax incentives for co-productions of feature films. Visiting productions are eligible for a 16% VAT refund. Some cities and states also offer their own incentives and discounts for films shot locally. For more information visit COMEFILM.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Spanish is the official language. Mexico has a small but good pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Mexican crews are very experienced in servicing international productions. They are hard working, resourceful and speak fluent English. Both union and non-union options are available. Must use union crews for feature films. Can use non-union talent for all other media. Mexico is a short flight from major US production centres should you ever need to access those crews.

Contact us if you are looking for a Mexico City or Cancun based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Mexico.

Talent. Both union and non-union options are available. Must use union talent for feature films and TV shows. Can use non-union talent for all other media.

Spanish is the national language. The country is also home to 68 Amerindian languages.

Most Mexicans are Mestizo, of mixed Caucasian and Amerindian descent. There are also many indigenous groups including the Rarámuri, an Amerindian group living Chihuahua who are renowned for their long-distance running ability. There is also a sizeable community of Mexicans of Caucasian, African, Middle Eastern and Asian heritage. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Fringes. No hidden extras for non-union.

Premiums. Mexico works on a 10 hour day. Non-union premiums are 10% extra after 10 hours. Union premiums are 10% extra for the next 2 hours, 20% for the next 2 hours and 30% extra after that. Night shoots are set on a 8 hour day with the above premiums applying. Shoots on weekends and holidays are subject to negotiable premiums. Mexico requires a 12 hour turn around.

Mexico Film Equipment

Equipment. Mexico offers a range of standard and specialised equipment including 35mm and HD cameras, underwater housing, grip equipment including Technocrane, and a range of lighting packages.

For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Mexico is an ATA carnet country. Permission to bring in gear can also be obtained from your local Mexican consulate. The process generally takes about a month in the US or about a week in Europe.

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. Art department heads are of an international standard. Construction is inexpensive and of a high quality.

Studios and Backlots. Baja Studios is a self contained production facility that serviced productions including Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Pearl Harbor (2001), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and Titanic (1997). The studio complex includes sound studios, stages, water tanks, production offices, dressing rooms, wardrobe facilities, a heliport and a backlot.

Post Production. All facilities exist in Mexico City, including a film lab.

Visas & Work Permits

Crews travelling on passports from western countries can enter visa-free for stay of up to 180 days. There are no special work permits required to film in Mexico.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Mexico has a very good system of roads with toll roads being of the highest international standard. Domestic airlines cover the country extensively. Many international airlines service flights to Mexico.

Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Mexico City, Cancun (Mayan Riviera), and other parts of Mexico. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:

Camino Real Polanco

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. Our Mexican fixer / producer organises the appropriate level of security based on the specific needs of your shoots.

Down Time. Mexico has a vibrant nightlife with diverse cuisine and plenty of natural and cultural wonders for visiting productions to enjoy in their down time. In fact, Mexico’s diversity of local cuisine, is only second to that of China.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Mexico, please see below:

Hire Mexico Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Mexico, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Mexico, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.