Favourite Bond moments in Latin America
The latest 007 film, Spectre, shows Daniel Craig as James Bond, whose latest mission is set against a back-drop of Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico City. Spectre is out 26 October 2015.
Celebrated all over Latin America, but most famously in Mexico, on 01 and 02 November, Día de los Muertos is a more joyful occasion than you might expect, as it’s both a remembrance of loved ones and a celebration of the eternal cycle of life and death.
One of the best places to see the celebrations are the island of Janitzio on Lake Pátzcuaro.
This year (2015) the Day of the Dead festival coincides with when Formula One takes place in Mexico City; sure to make for one major celebration.
Our favourite Bond moments in Latin America:
The fictional Andean country featured in the film is based on Bolivia. However, Daniel Craig and Co. were actually filming in neighbouring Chile, around Antofagasta, the historic “ghost town” of Baquedano and the ESO Paranal Observatory. The ESO’s “Residencia”, an avant-garde lodge built for astronomers working at the observatory, was chosen as the hideout for Bond villain, Dominic Greene.
The atmospheric colonial streets of the capital’s Casco Viejo (Old Town) served as the location for both Panama and a fictional Andean town. The ruins of Noriega’s notorious “Officers and Troops Club” were transformed into a glamorous venue for a cocktail party. At the other end of the Panama Canal, filming took place in the precarious old wooden buildings of Colón (to represent Haiti) and on a private island off the Caribbean coast.
With spectacular mid-air gunfights and aerial views over wild desert landscapes and the sparkling Sea of Cortés, most of the “Mexican” scenes were apparently shot around San Felipe, a small coastal town 2 hours from Mexicali, Baja California. In sharp contrast to the all-inclusive beach hotels to the south, the Sea of Cortés side of Baja boasts desert flora (including giant cactus), pristine beaches, crystal-clear water, abundant marine wildlife and outdoor activities from hiking to sea kayaking.
4. Bond in Brazil: Moonraker (1979)
Who could forget the scrap between Bond and “Jaws” on the Sugar Loaf cable car in Rio; or Roger Moore’s quiff-busting underwater tussle with a python in the Amazon? The Mayan pyramids of Tikal also star in the film, but 007 wasn’t really in Brazil (as we are meant to believe), he was in Guatemala’s jungle region of El Petén.
Remember Jinx’s (Halle Berry) beach entrance in that bikini, the island clinic where Bond villain Zao went for his makeover, or the cigar factory in Havana? Although supposedly being set in Cuba, these scenes were actually filmed in London and Cadiz, owing to the strict US embargo.