The Lost City remains an iconic example of Latin American cinema, and its lush visuals and ambitious storyline continue to captivate audiences. Wherever it was filmed, the locations only serve to further enhance the film’s timeless appeal. So where was the Lost City filmed? The setting may be Cuba but it wasn’t filmed there.

Where Was The Lost City Filmed

Where Was The Lost City Filmed

The Lost City was filmed primarily in Mexico. Filming locations included Taxco and Churubusco Studios in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Veracruz, and the Lacandon jungle in Chiapas. Additionally, some scenes were shot at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio near Santa Clarita, California.

The Lost City Backdrop

Full List of The Lost City Film Locations

  • Palacio Nacional, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Boca Chica, Dominican Republic
  • Santiago, Dominican Republic (tobacco plantation)
  • Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • New York, USA
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Story of The Lost City

The Lost City is a 2005 drama set against the backdrop of Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution. The story follows Fico Fellove (Andy Garcia), an exiled Cuban nightclub owner who returns to his homeland after 20 years to reconnect with his brother, Ricardo (Enrique Murciano). Upon arriving, Fico discovers that Ricardo has become a committed revolutionary, while his beloved Havana has been taken over by Batista-era criminals.

In an attempt to save the city and reunite with Ricardo, Fico must convince both sides of the revolution—the revolutionaries and the criminals—to come together for a common cause. Along the way, he also finds love with a beautiful Cuban woman named Aurora (Inés Sastre).

The Lost City is a visually stunning film that captures the beauty of its Latin American locations. It is an epic tale of love and revolution, and it continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

The Cast

Where Was The Lost City Filmed - Andy Garcia
Andy Garcia (Credit: IMDb)

The main cast featured Andy Garcia, Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman, and Inés Sastre. Other notable actors in the film included Tomás Milián, Enrique Murciano, Nestor Carbonell, Omara Portuondo, Richard Bradford, and Elpidia Carrillo.

The Director

The Lost City was a passion project for actor/director Andy Garcia who wanted to capture the essence of his Cuban heritage and the Latin American experience on film. The production had a budget of $25 million and employed over 500 Mexican actors and extras in its cast. For authenticity, writer/director Garcia used local locations, performers, and music to further evoke the Cuban atmosphere. The film received generally favorable reviews from critics.

The Lost City Film - Bill Murray
Bill Murray (Credit: IMDb)

The Lost City was a unique production with an ambitious scope—an epic love story set against the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s. However, due to Garcia’s commitment to authenticity, he chose to shoot his movie in Mexico and other Latin American locations instead of Cuba, where the production would have faced government restrictions. This allowed Garcia to create a vibrant on-screen world that captured the culture and spirit of his Cuban roots while providing an immersive cinematic experience for viewers.

The Lost City Box Office Details

Here are the financial details of The Lost City.

  • Budget: $9,600,000
  • Opening weekend: $180,000
  • Gross (US & Canada): $2,484,186
  • Gross (World): $4,408,011

Fun Facts About The Lost City

There’s not a lot of fun information out there about the movie but I did manage to find a few things that may be of interest to you.

The Lost City - Behind the Scenes
The Lost City – Behind the Scenes (credit: IMDb)
  • This film was shot in 35 days
  • It took 16 years to make it to production
  • Andy Garcia’s first draft of the script was over 300 pages. It was later trimmed back to 120 pages.
  • Local actors and extras from Mexico were cast to make the movie appear more authentic


The Lost City was a critical success, and it received numerous awards and nominations during its run. The film won the Audience Award at the 2005 AFI Film Festival, as well as Best Narrative Feature at Los Angeles’s Outfest. Additionally, actor Andy Garcia was nominated for Best Actor at both the 2006 Golden Globe Awards and the 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

What is Mexico Famous For?

Mexico is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine. It is also home to numerous national parks that offer incredible natural beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities. Mexico’s unique blend of history, tradition, and modernity makes it a great place to explore. 

Great Places to Visit in Mexico

There’s a lot to choose from when looking for unique places to visit in Mexico. Here are a few you might be interested in.

Things to Do in Mexico

Mexico is a great destination for travelers looking for an authentic cultural experience. There are countless attractions to explore, from the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan to the picturesque colonial cities of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende.

Adventure seekers can take part in hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking in some of Mexico’s stunning national parks. Visitors looking for a beach getaway can enjoy the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, while those interested in nightlife and entertainment can find it in Mexico City’s bustling nightclubs and bars.

Additional Film Location Resources

If you are looking for more film locations similar to The Lost City, insider information and behind the scenes footage of your favorite movies – here are some additional posts for you to check out:

Final Thoughts on Where Was Lost City Filmed

No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is something for everyone to explore in Mexico. Mexico is also a popular destination for celebrating occasions such as anniversaries, weddings, elopements, birthdays, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. 

You’ll find that Mexico is a very affordable place to visit. The Yucatan is probably the most expensive place to visit. The great weather also makes it a great place to vacation. 

Have you ever been to Mexico? What did you like the best? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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