Peru 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 Peru? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Peru
For an introduction to shooting in Peru see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.
Peru Film Locations
Peru ranks amongst the world’s great centres of ancient civilization and has one of the richest biodiversities on earth. Film locations include bustling cities, ancient Inca ruins, Spanish colonial architecture, Amazon jungle, Andean mountains, glaciers, rivers, deserts, and beaches. Peru is the source of the Amazon river. The Sechura desert runs the length of the country along the Pacific coast.
Agricultural film locations include plantations of coffee, cocoa, sugarcane, cotton, quinoa, artichokes, grapes, avocados, mangoes, pineapples, bananas, potatoes, rice, barley, wheat, and corn. Peru farms alpacas and llamas. Fishing trawlers are available for filming. Industrial locations include copper, gold, lead, and zinc mines. Energy locations include coal and gas power stations, hydroelectric dams, as well as wind and solar energy facilities.
Peru has hosted productions including Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019), The Amazing Race 26 (2015), The Green Inferno (2013), Life (2009), The Amazing Race 7 (2005), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), Touching the Void (2003), The Big Blue (1988), Fitzcarraldo (1982), and Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972).
Film locations can be divided into the following regions:
Lima is Peru’s capital, historical centre, largest population centre, and main film production centre. Located on the Pacific coast, Lima is known for Inca and Pre-Inca archeological sites, modern and colonial architecture, beaches, and some of the best restaurants in South America. Film locations of note include Plaza De Armas De Lima, Plaza Dos de Mayo, Miguel Grau Square, Parque de la Reserva, Huaca Pucllana, Government Palace, Archbishop’s Palace, Municipal Palace, Museo de Arte, Museo de Arte Italiano, Casa de la Literatura Peruana, Convento de Santo Domingo, Cathedral of Lima, Iglesia de La Merced, Site Museum and Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac, Mercado de Brujas, and the Acho bullring. The Basílica y Convento de San Francisco catacombs has skulls and bones of an estimated 70,000 people. Lurigancho Prison is a large overcrowded prison facility. Port of Callao is a container port available for filming.
Casa C3 is a beautiful desert ocean home located near Ancón.
Jicamarca Ionospheric Radio Observatory is located just outside of Lima.
Caral is an archaeological site.
Ferrocarril Central Andino, running from Lima to Huancayo, is one of the highest railways in the world.
The Cusco region is located in south central Peru.
Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, is one of the most famous and photographed ancient locations in the world. The spectacular terraced ruins sit nestled in a tropical mountain forest, almost 8000 feet above sea level, overlooked by the beautiful Huayna Picchu. One way to reach Machu Picchu is to hike the famed Inca Trail. For more on filming at Machu Picchu see here.
Other interesting archaeological sites in this area include Choquequirao, Llaqtapata, and Wiñay Wayna.
The Sacred Valley is also known for its natural beauty, snow covered peaks, agriculture, traditional Quechua villages and colourful local markets.
Cusco is a beautiful colonial city and the ancient capital of the Incas. Locations of interest include the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral of Cusco, Church of the Society of Jesus, Coricancha ruins, and Saqsaywaman ruins.
Within 2 hours drive of the city of Cusco you can find the Inca archeological sites of Moray, Tambomachay, Pisac, Puka Pukara, Ollantaytambo Fortress, and the salt terraces of Maras.
Cusco’s Red River is formed by the rain run-off from the nearby Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain.
Queshuachaca is a photogenic Inca rope bridge hanging over the Apurímac River.
Skylodge Adventure Suites is an unusual film location.
Amazonas is located in the north.
Gocta Waterfall and Yumbilla Falls are among the tallest waterfalls in the world.
Kuélap archaeological ruin is a pre-Inca walled settlement.
The Alto Mayo Protection Forest protects part of the Peruvian Yungas ecoregion.
The Ancash region is located in the west.
Huascarán National Park is located in the Cordillera Blanca, the world’s highest tropical mountain range. The park is known for its mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, and unique flora such as the Queen of the Andes plant. Mount Huascarán is Peru’s highest peak. Alpamayo is a spectacular mountain location. Paron Lake is a beautiful glacial lake.
Chavín de Huántar is an archaeological site.
This centrally located region is known for the city of Abancay.
Arequipa is a southern region located on the Pacific coast.
The city of Arequipa is a colonial city surrounded by volcanoes. Locations of note include the Plaza de Armas, Basilica Cathedral, Santa Catalina Monastery, La Compañía Cloister, Yanahuara Scenic Overlook, and San Camilo Market which is designed by Gustave Eiffel.
Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world.
Castillo Forga is an abandoned coastal castle.
Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve is known for its otherworldly volcanic landscapes.
Cruz del Condor is a lookout location to view soaring condors.
Ayacucho is centrally located.
The city of Ayacucho is known for its colonial architecture such as Templo de Santo Domingo, Plaza de Armas, and Ayacucho Cathedral.
Pampa Galeras National Reserve is home to the vicuña.
Cajamarca is located in the north.
Ventanillas de Otuzco is an archaeological ruin necropolis location.
Cumbemayo is another archaeological site.
Cajamarca is a colonial city known for the Plaza de Armas, and Cajamarca Cathedral.
Cutervo National Park is located in the northern Peruvian Andes. Wildlife of note includes guácharos, spectacled bears, and mountain tapirs.
The Callao region is located just outside of Lima.
Fortaleza del Real Felipe is located in this area.
Huancavelica is a centrally located region.
Huánuco is a centrally located region.
Touching the Void (2003) filmed on Siula Grande mountain.
Piruro is an archaeological site.
Ica is located on the Pacific coast.
The Nazca Lines are giant Pre-Columbian petroglyphs etched into the desert.
Huacachina is a spectacular oasis village built around a natural lake in the desert.
Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands protects desert and marine ecosystems. Wildlife includes a diversity of whales, dolphins, seals, and coastal birds.
Tambo Colorado is a well-preserved Inca adobe complex.
Playa La Mina, and Playa El Raspón are beautiful beaches.
Cañon de los Perdidos is known for its interesting rock structures.
Cerro Blanco is one of the world’s tallest sand dunes.
Junín is a centrally located region.
La Libertad is located in northwestern Peru on the Pacific coast.
The city of Trujillo is a colonial city known for the Plaza de Armas, Trujillo Cathedral, and Iturregui Palace.
Chan Chan, Huaca del Dragon, Huaca del Sol, and Huaca de la Luna are archeological ruins outside of the city of Trujillo.
Playa Chicama is a popular surf beach.
Lambayeque is located in northwestern Peru on the Pacific coast.
The Túcume pyramids are archeological ruins.
Located in the northeast, Loreto is the country’s largest region.
Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest and the gateway to native jungle tribes, virgin rainforest and abundant wildlife.
Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is an Amazon rainforest location that is home to Amazonian manatees, Amazon river dolphins, tucuxis, jaguars, pumas, South American tapirs, giant otters, South American coatis, capybaras, and a diversity of birdlife.
Madre de Dios
Madre de Dios is located in the southeast of the country.
Tambopata National Reserve is known for its tropical rainforest and rivers and the flora and fauna that call it home, including jaguars, pumas, and a diversity of colourful birds such as the scarlet macaw.
Manú National Park protects a pristine ecosystem of lowland rainforests, cloud forests, and Andean grasslands. The diverse wildlife includes jaguars, pumas, ocelots, jaguarundis, tayras, southern tamanduas, capybaras, giant armadillos, brown-throated sloths, Peruvian spider monkeys, greater bulldog bats, spectacled bears, blue-and-yellow macaws, Amazonian pygmy owls, Andean cock-of-the-rocks, green anaconda, aquatic coral snake, and many more.
Moquegua is a Pacific coast region in the south of the country.
Pasco is a centrally located region.
Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park preserves rainforests and cloud forests.
Huayllay National Sanctuary has rocky spires that resemble a forest made of stone.
Piura is a region located on the northwest Pacific coast.
Playa Mancora and Playa Lobitos are popular surf beaches.
Puno is a southeastern region.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. The Uru people live on floating islands made of reeds.
La Rinconada is the highest permanent settlement in the world at an elevation of 5,100 m (16,700 ft).
San Martín is a north central region.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019), and The Green Inferno (2013) filmed jungle scenes in Tarapoto.
Lamas Castle is a kitschy Italian medieval-style castle.
Río Abiseo National Park is home to a diversity of endangered species across a range of ecoregions and altitudes. Landscapes include montane forest, tropical alpine forest, montane rainforest, high Andean grasslands, and dry forest. The park is home to wildlife including yellow-tailed woolly monkeys, jaguars, spectacled bears, hairy long-nosed armadillos, and yellow-browed toucanets.
Tacna is the most southern coastal region.
Tumbes is a region located on the far northwest Pacific coast.
Reserva Nacional de Tumbes is a bird-rich tropical rainforest.
Ucayali is located in the east of the country. The region is located in the Amazon rainforest.
Peru Film Location Permits
Archaeological locations require permission from the relevant government ministry. Entrance fees also apply. For documentary projects permit fees are $375, per location, for two days of filming. Permit fees for commercial projects are $1500 per location, for two days of filming. Most permits need to be applied for at least 2 weeks prior to shooting. Allow up to a month for Machu Pichu. Some sites require permission of the local indigenous community. City location permits require permission from the municipality. Please contact us for more location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Peru has a tropical climate so sunlight hours vary minimally from summer to winter. Peru is said to have 81 0f 104 possible ‘life zones’, more than any other country in the world, so the climate varies considerably depending on the location and time of year. Peru can be divided into three distinct geographic zones:
Coast. Peru’s southern coast has one of the driest deserts in the world with high temperatures during the day and cool to cold nights. The central coast has hot, dry summers and cold, overcast winters with almost no rain. The northern coast is much more tropical with warm sunny days throughout the year and mild temperatures at night.
Highlands. Most of the Andes have a typical high-altitude climate. April to October is the dry season marked by long sunny days and cold nights. November to March is the rainy season. Heavy rains can cause delays, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get all the shots you need. The extremity of the seasons and temperatures varies greatly based on latitude and altitude. If arriving from a lower altitude location it’s important to allow your team enough time to acclimatise to the higher altitude.
Jungle. Lowland jungle areas are warm and humid throughout the year with rain fall varying only slightly between summer and winter. Heavy rains cause landslides and slow filming, so be sure to allow for delays.
For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Peru celebrates thousands of local fiestas every year. Of particular note are:
• Fiesta de la Santa Tierra takes place in Lake Titicaca in January.
• La Candelaria in February.
• Carnaval throughout the country in February.
• Semana Santa in March / April.
• Peruvian Paso Horse Festival in April.
• Virgen de Chapi in Arequipa in April / May.
• Fiesta de las Cruces in May.
• Snow Star Festival (Qoyllur Rit’i) takes place in the Sinakara Valley (high Peruvian Andes) in May / June.
• Corpus Christi in May / June.
• Inti Raymi in June.
• Paucartambo Festival in July.
• Virgen del Carmen in July.
• Santa Rosa de Lima in August.
• Procesión del Señor de los Milagros in October.
Peru 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 Peru.
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. Locations, talent and services costs are inexpensive but since little filming infrastructure exists much of the key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Our Peruvian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for feature films or commercials shooting in Peru. Foreign crews are exempt from hotel accommodation tax.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Peru has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Supporting crew speak English and have extensive experience in servicing foreign productions. For more complicated projects it is recommended to bring in your key crew from abroad.
Contact us if you are looking for a Lima 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 for your shoot in Peru.
Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable.
Spanish is the main language. A significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua languages, Aymara, or other indigenous languages.
Talent looks vary by region. Coastal Peruvians tend to be mestizos of mixed Spanish and Amerindian decent. Many of the coastal areas are also populated by communities of Caucasian, African, Japanese and Chinese decent. In the Andes the majority of the population are of Amerindian decent (Quechua and Aymara). Peru’s Amazon region is home to at least 65 known indigenous tribes. All other talent looks are limited and need to be brought in from abroad.
Peru Film Equipment
Equipment. Peru has some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment based in Lima. Local crew improvise to help you achieve more complicated shots. More specialized equipment can be easily brought in from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, or the US. Peru is not an ATA carnet country but bringing in your gear is generally a very easy, hassle-free process.
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. Quality of local craftsmanship is high and labour costs are low but it’s best to bring in art department key crew to oversee the project.
Studios and Backlots don’t exist at present.
Post Production. There is one processing and transfer facility in Lima but the standard is quite average. It is best to post abroad.
Visas & Work Permits
A press visa is recommended for any crew entering Peru with equipment. Press visas are free and can be easily obtained through the Peruvian embassy in your country. They typically take up to two weeks to process. Contact your local Peruvian embassy / representative for more information. The rest of the crew and clients can travel on tourist visas. Western passport holders can enter visa-free.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Several international airlines service flights to Lima. Major coastal roads and roads between cities are paved. Most rural and mountain roads are in a poor condition with the rainy season often bringing landslides. Our Peruvian fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Flying is often the best option as long distances and mountainous terrain make land travel slow and uncomfortable. The Amazon city of Iquitos can only be reached by plane or boat.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Lima include:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Lima has excellent restaurant options. Local classics include ceviche, lomo saltado, anticuchos, aji de gallina, cuy, causa, rocoto relleno, and papas a la huancaina.
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 Peru, please see below:
Hire Peru Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Peru, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Peru, 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.