In The Lost City, a romance novelist played by Sandra Bullock is kidnapped and taken to an unnamed island in the Atlantic. The underwater scenes were created at Pinewood Studios and the volcanos were CGI, but the rest was filmed on actual islands. That included the village of Altos de Chavon and the waterfall in Los Haites National Park.
The action centers around four major locations in the Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo, Casa de Campo, and the Samana province. Keep watching to learn about the real-life locations where The Lost City was filmed and the best things to do there.
Samana is a narrow province off the north coast of the Dominican Republic. It has beautiful beaches and plentiful activities but it is quieter than other, tourist-filled areas. That makes it one of the best relaxing real-life locations where The Lost City was filmed.
Waterfalls and Rivers
The El Limon Waterfall takes an impressive drop 130 feet from the top of Sierra Samana. You’ll have to take a 1.5-mile hike or a 30-minute horseback ride to reach it
Salto de La Tosa is another beautiful waterfall with a limestone wash. It’s got a gallery forest full of old trees and is great for swimming without dealing with crowds. Salto de la Cola del Indio has a medium-sized pond.
La Cueva la Boca del Diablo, also known as The Devil’s Mouth Cave, is on the edge of the cliff of Cape Samana. It got its name because the waves rising at the base causes pressure that displaces the air and creates a roaring sound.
El Limon River has gallery forests along it as well as waterfalls and pools.Its tributary, the Palmitroy river, also has gallery forests and steep terrain. Its greatest jump is 10 meters high.
Parque Nacional Los Haietes translates as “hilly land.” Its hills range from 40-350m and are full of tropical vegetation.It covers an area of 618 square miles. It’s also been a filming location for another famous film: Jurassic Park.
You’ll be able to see one of the Dominican Republic’s last rainforests here along with impressive mangrove trees. Look for the shark cave and ancient Taino caves. When you’re done, visit the waterfall swimming pools at the Paraiso Cano Hando or stay and book a tour at the Bannister Hotel.
Taking a speedboat is the best way to see everything in Los Haites National Park. The caves offer a glimpse into the indigenous Taino Indians who lived there. You’ll also see beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. When you’re done, you can board a kayak to explore the rivers.
The Mangrove Lower Yuna National Park is 100 square kilometres long. It’s full of wetlands and mangrove trees.
Las Terrenas is a European-style village right in Samana. It’s full of Victorian houses along the coast. You can eat on the water, get a drink, or people-watch to your heart’s content.
Going along the rural roads lets you interact with local Dominicans. The ones around the El Limon waterfall are some of the best.
There are plenty of craftsmen in Samana. El Limon is full of lamps, bromeliads, and ornaments made of bamboo, palm, and fig trees. They’re simple but high-quality.
The Religious Cave is found in Agua Sabrosa. It has 6 pre-Columbian petroglyphs and a painting of the Church of God of Prophecy and is still used as a place of worship.
La Churcha de Santa Barbra is a Methodist church also known as “The Churcha.” It was built in 1900 and transported to Samana in pieces. It’s the only remaining building from the city of Samana that survived after the fire in 1945 and the destruction of all Victorian houses in 1973.
It’s impossible to forget Las Terrenas, the beach where Lorretta and Alan end up at the end of The Lost City. It has the feel of a lost island with peaceful blue waters and swaying palms.
La Bahia de Rincon has been recognized as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. This is mainly thanks to the waters of the Caribbean sea and the warm sun. You can also enjoy a delicious dinner of lobster and chicken.
Cayo Levantado is also a beautiful beach in Samana. It has turquoise water and free beach chairs and showers. You can also buy local art or BBQ or enjoy water sports for a bit of extra money
Onda Becah is a secluded spot that’s only 50 meters long between the coast of Punta Berto and The Hermit. Cayita Honda Beach is 150 meters long and is surrounded by coral reefs that don’t give it much surf.
Rincon Bay sits between Cabo Cabron and Cape Samana. Its beach is over 2 kilometres long. It’s covered by coconut trees and has calm waters but no hotels or homes.
El Ermitano is 400 meters long and surrounded by coral reefs. Its calm waters are great for swimming, and it’s secluded with no vehicle access.
Las Canas Beach sits at the mouth of the Canton River beach and is shaped like a tube. It’s surrounded by mangrove trees and has plenty of sand and surf.
Food and Drinks
El Cabito sits along the edge of nearby cliffs and is best to visit around sunset. You can listen to the waves while eating dishes such as seafood paella or grilled fish in coconut curry broth.
The Ginger Route is found within the villages of Los Naranjos and Las Galeras. Take a tour to learn how organic ginger is born and used in different dishes that you can then taste.
You can also take a tour to learn about Limon’s fields of coffee. You can see how they’re harvested and turned into the drink you love then enjoy lunch and relax in the Salto de Limo.
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The Colonial Zone is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the main attraction in Santo Domingo. It’s the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in America. Don’t miss its many historic churches, monasteries, castles, and museums
The Dominican Republic is the nation’s #1 exporter of organic cacao. It’s a haven for chocolate lovers. You can tour the Choco Museum in the colonial zone and create your own chocolate bar, make your own soap from cacao butter at KahKow Experience, or go on the El Sendero del Cacao tour to see how it’s made. There are also museums focusing on the country’s other two main exports; sugar cane and rum.
If those tours make you hungry, you can choose one of the Colonial Zone’s many dining options. Plaza Espana is the most romantic and gives you a marvellous view. Jalao is an upscale option with shows and live music. Lulu has a beautiful terrace in a small park, and Mercado Colon has a cozy courtyard.
You can also get street food if you want to feel like a local. Sicily has delicious empanadas. Navarricos has a small number of tables that fill up quickly, so reserve one in advance. Omeroliza D’Comer is one of the best and cleanest places to get a cheap lunch for 150 pesos. Try the buffet or the plato del dia or dish of the day.
Santo Domingo also has an incredibly unique restaurant called Meson de la Cava. It sits inside a cave that’s part of the rock formations in the Parque Mirador del Sur. Its food isn’t the best in the area, but the location is worth visiting.
If you can’t get enough of stepping into caves after that, go to Las Cuevas Del Pomier. They’re a full cave system that’s hard to find and hard to navigate but perfect for adventurers.
Santo Domingo isn’t the best place to find beaches in the Dominican Republic, but they’re definitely there. Boca Chica has a turquoise lagoon, and Juan Dolio has wide sandy beaches.
Los Tres Ojos National Park sits in the middle of the city but is full of beautiful lagoons and caves. You can walk through it with or without a guide but can’t swim in it, but the scenery alone is worth the entry fee of $5-6 per person.
San Domingo’s Botanical Garden is full of hiking trails to let you see beautiful plants and go birdwatching. It also has a butterfly garden and a Japanese Garden.
The Estatio Quisqueya is nearby, and it’s home to Sando Domingo’s two baseball teams, the Leons del Escogido and Tigres del Licey. Watching a game of the national sport of the Dominican here between October to January is worth it if you get the chance.
Faro A Colon or Colombus’ Lighthouse is another sight worth seeing, even if it isn’t as beautiful. It’s a $70 million concrete mausoleum dedicated to Columbus.
Casa De Campo
Altos de Chivon is the primary tourist attraction of Casa de Campo. It’s a replica 16-century community with beautiful architecture
Minitas Beach is a private but beautiful beach here. It’s great for watersports or taking a dip. Catalina Beach has 6 square miles of white beaches and clear waters. Isla Saona is another popular option and has been a filming location for other movies such as The Blue Lagoon. Isla Catalina is equally beautiful but less crowded.
Take a river cruise down Rio de Chavon to learn about the Dominican REpublic’s flora and Fauna. You’ll also learn about its indigenous culture and see the biggest butterfly garden in the country. Don’t pass up Casa de Cava’s natural caves either, such as Cuava Padre Nuestro.
The Caso de Campo Marina attracts at least 40 professional boats every season. It’s the place to start fishing for barracuda or blue marlin. You can also enjoy kayaking, scuba diving, or snorkelling.
Have you watched The Lost City? Let us know in the comments.