5 vacations inspired by pop culture

Ever heard of ‘set-jetting’? As one of the latest trends in travel, set-jetting is visiting places you see on the big screen, in real life! If you’re looking for some inspiration on where to start, we’ve prepared a list of some famous TV and movie destinations in the tropics that you can see for yourself.

Waterfall with rushing cascades in a lush forest
James Bond: Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

The international spy James Bond (also known as 007) has been around the world, but the first movie in the series was set in Jamaica. Dr. No (1962) follows James Bond as he visits the 'Home of All Right' to investigate the disappearance of a fellow British agent. During the film, he and his sea-shell-selling sidekick take a dip in the pools at the bottom of Dunn’s River Falls.

Where to stay: The five-star Royalton Negril Resort and Spa rivals even the fanciest of hotels that Bond may frequent! A top-rated luxury resort, it features elegant accommodations on a beautiful beachfront setting with a sprawling pool complex, swim-up bars, a world-class spa and a range of activities. If you’re bringing the kids along, the daily complimentary kids club also offers extended hours, giving you the chance to enjoy a romantic beachside dinner under the stars.

Replica old pirate ship anchored off the Bahamian coast
Pirates of the Caribbean: Exuma, Bahamas

The film series Pirates of the Caribbean was shot in many locations around the Caribbean, including the beaches and jungles on the islands of Exuma (which can easily be visited on a day excursion from Nassau. Scenes for both Dead Man’s Chest (2006) and At World’s End (2007) were filmed here, including the Norrington, Sparrow and Turner swordfight over Davy Jones’ heart and the iconic scene where Sparrow is chased down the beach by an angry mob.

Where to stay: If you’d rather sleep at a gorgeous hotel instead of a deserted island like our favourite pirate captain, Riu Palace Paradise Island is the perfect choice. This adults only beachfront resort is minutes away from the historic sites and great attractions of Nassau, like the Atlantis Casino. The resort also recently added a new pool and lounge to their modern facilities which include five restaurants and an on-site spa.

Aerial shot of colonial-era buildings in Old Havana
Fast and the Furious: Havana, Cuba

The most recent instalment in the franchise, Fate of the Furious (2017), was the first American studio film to be shot in Cuba. At the beginning of the movie, main characters Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon in Havana when trouble catches up to them, leading to a high-speed race through the historic city streets.

Where to stay: Situated in the heart of Havana and close to several attractions and museums, Iberostar Parque Central is great for visitors wanting to explore this vibrant city. After a day of sightseeing, you can take in stunning city views from the rooftop pool as you enjoy live Cuban music performed by local artists. Your vacation may be a bit slower paced than Dom and Letty’s, but it’ll be just as fun!

Animatronic dinosaur with its mouth open in a forest
Jurassic Park: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The first movie in this iconic series has the main characters exploring – and then escaping – from the fictional Jurassic Park. Although the story is set in Costa Rica, the rolling hills and lush tropical forests of the park captured in the movie are actually found in the Dominican Republic; just outside of Punta Cana. The filming sites are now part of Bavaro Adventure Park Jurassic World. While there are no real dinosaurs at this park (that we know of!), they do have to scale animatronic ones!

Where to stay: The entire family will have a blast at Grand Memories Punta Cana. Only a short walk from the sparkling white sands of Bavaro Beach, this resort is home to one of the Caribbean’s largest water parks, with tons of slides to zoom down. You’ll also enjoy full access to certain services and facilities at Royalton Punta Cana Resort and Casino located next door. Once you’re done adventuring, you’ll have five restaurants to choose from, so even picky eaters will find something they’ll love and if a tyrannosaurus-rex steals your ice cream, it will be replaced for free.

Desert in Los Cabos meeting the ocean
Fear the Walking Dead: Baja California, Mexico

The spin-off series of the immensely popular The Walking Dead (2010-onwards) follows a group of survivors who start out in Los Angeles. During the second season, they decide to head south, through the Mexican state of Baja California – home to the world-class resort destination of Los Cabos – where they end up living at one of the resorts along the coast. Scenes of them travelling through the desert, on the beach and at the resort were all filmed on location.

Where to stay: Los Cabos is getting a brand-new resort and you could be one of the first to stay there! Opening this winter (December 2018), the brand-new adults only Riu Palace Baja California features six restaurants, four pools including a sparkling infinity pool overlooking the ocean, access to the neighbouring Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas and Riu Sante Fe and so much more.

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