Lights, Camera, Puerto Vallarta: Unveiling the Ten Iconic Movies Filmed in Mexico’s Coastal Gem

Ten Movies Filmed in Puerto Vallarta

Welcome to Puerto Vallarta, a paradise nestled on Mexico’s Pacific coast that has not only captivated travelers but has also served as the backdrop for numerous iconic movies. From timeless classics to thrilling adventures, Puerto Vallarta has provided the perfect canvas for filmmakers to capture its stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a cinematic journey through ten of the most well-known and beloved movies filmed in Puerto Vallarta. Join us as we explore the captivating stories and uncover the famous film locations that have made Puerto Vallarta a cherished destination for filmmakers and movie enthusiasts alike.

1. Night of the Iguana (1964):

“Night of the Iguana,” directed by John Huston and based on Tennessee Williams’ play, is a cinematic masterpiece that put Puerto Vallarta on the global film map. Starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr, the film tells the tale of a defrocked Episcopal priest seeking solace amidst the captivating beauty of Puerto Vallarta. Filmed at iconic locations such as Mismaloya Beach, Las Caletas, and the legendary Casa Kimberly, this movie beautifully captures the essence of Puerto Vallarta’s tropical allure and remains a cornerstone of its cinematic history.

2. Predator (1987):

Directed by John McTiernan, “Predator” brought thrilling action to Puerto Vallarta’s lush jungles and rugged landscapes. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura, the film follows a team of commandos hunted by an extraterrestrial predator in the Central American jungle. Filmed amidst the dense forests surrounding Puerto Vallarta, this movie showcases the region’s untamed beauty and solidifies its reputation as an ideal location for adrenaline-fueled adventures.

3. The Night of the White Pants (2006):

“The Night of the White Pants,” directed by Amy Talkington, is a dark comedy that takes viewers on a wild ride through Puerto Vallarta’s vibrant nightlife and charming streets. Starring Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, and Selma Blair, the film portrays a dysfunctional Texan family caught up in chaotic misadventures during a memorable night out in Puerto Vallarta. With filming locations at the bustling Malecon boardwalk and the city’s historic center, this movie captures the energy and cultural richness that define Puerto Vallarta.

4. Herbie Goes Bananas (1980):

Part of the beloved Herbie franchise, “Herbie Goes Bananas,” directed by Vincent McEveety, brought the lovable Volkswagen Beetle to Puerto Vallarta for an unforgettable adventure. Starring Cloris Leachman, Charles Martin Smith, and Harvey Korman, the film follows Herbie’s mischievous encounters with a jewel thief and a group of playful monkeys. Puerto Vallarta’s picturesque Malecon boardwalk and the historic center provide a vibrant backdrop for this heartwarming family-friendly comedy.

5. The Mosquito Coast (1986):

Based on the novel by Paul Theroux, “The Mosquito Coast,” directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, and River Phoenix, includes captivating scenes filmed in Puerto Vallarta. While most of the movie was shot in Belize, Puerto Vallarta plays a significant role in capturing the protagonist’s early journey. The film follows an idealistic inventor who relocates his family to a remote area of Central America. Puerto Vallarta’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture set the stage for the protagonist’s quest for a utopian society.

6. Limitless (2011):

Directed by Neil Burger, “Limitless” stars Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. Although the majority of the film takes place in New York City, Puerto Vallarta plays a crucial role in the protagonist’s transformation. The movie follows a struggling writer who gains access to a mysterious drug that enhances his mental abilities. Filming in Puerto Vallarta showcases the city’s stunning beaches and luxurious resorts, adding a touch of allure to the protagonist’s newfound success.

7. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008):

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” directed by Raja Gosnell, is a delightful family adventure that takes audiences from the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills to the colorful streets of Puerto Vallarta. Starring Drew Barrymore, George Lopez, and Piper Perabo, the film tells the story of a pampered Chihuahua who finds herself lost in Mexico. Filming in Puerto Vallarta highlights the city’s vibrant markets, historic buildings, and warm hospitality, creating a visually stunning backdrop for this heartwarming tale.

8. Delta Force (1986):

Directed by Menahem Golan and starring Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin, “Delta Force” is an action-packed thriller that utilized Puerto Vallarta’s picturesque beauty as a backdrop for its intense scenes. The film follows a group of elite commandos who embark on a rescue mission after a hijacked plane lands in Beirut. Puerto Vallarta serves as the starting point of the mission, showcasing its stunning coastline and lush landscapes before the action takes flight.

9. Revenge (1990):

“Revenge,” directed by Tony Scott and starring Kevin Costner, Anthony Quinn, and Madeleine Stowe, is a gripping drama that takes viewers on a journey from the glittering world of high society to the wildness of Puerto Vallarta. The film follows a former naval aviator seeking vengeance against a powerful Mexican businessman. Puerto Vallarta’s breathtaking landscapes and luxurious resorts provide the perfect backdrop for this tale of passion, betrayal, and redemption.

10. The Big Bounce (2004):

Based on the novel by Elmore Leonard, “The Big Bounce,” directed by George Armitage, brings together a star-studded cast, including Owen Wilson, Morgan Freeman, and Charlie Sheen. While the majority of the film takes place in Hawaii, Puerto Vallarta’s stunning beaches and vibrant culture make a notable appearance. The movie tells the story of a beach bum who gets involved in a dangerous scheme. Puerto Vallarta’s scenic beauty adds an element of intrigue and allure to this thrilling crime comedy.


Puerto Vallarta’s natural beauty, rich culture, and enchanting atmosphere have made it a sought-after destination for filmmakers seeking to capture the essence of their stories.

About the Author

Picture of We Love PV

We Love PV

A group of expats living in Puerto Vallarta sharing experiences and information.

You May Also Like...

Thoughts On This Article