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Filming in Costa Rica

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Nestled between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America, Costa Rica is home to about 4.5 million people and offers filmmakers a wide range of tropical filming conditions. Costa Rica has abundant wildlife and despite its small size offers 6% of the world’s total biodiversity. In addition the varied landscapes include savannas, volcanic regions, tropical rainforests, reefs, wetlands and mountain peaks.

Filmmakers will find some of the most experienced crews in Central America and producers could well benefit from Costa Rica’s geography as the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines are only about five hours’ apart.

The country’s location makes it a popular choice for US advertisers including DNB bank and Aerie. The fact that Costa Rica has a number of landscapes and microclimates within a small area that make handy doubles for Africa, Europe and the US is advantageous to productions working to a tight schedule. The volcanic region starred in the post-apocalyptic Will Smith sci-fi After Earth, its jungle areas in the opening scenes to Suicide Squad, as well as doubling for Africa in Congo, and Peru in Paddington.


We hiked up volcanoes, hacked through jungles and waded into rivers running through caves. Everyone was a trooper. Will Smith went after the large spiders in the caves. Everyone had a good time and agreed on the locations that production designer Tom Sanders and I had worked to fit the story which were scattered around the Arenal area.

Dow Griffith, Supervising LM


The central valley has an average temperature of 22C with a spring-like climate all year. The temperature and humidity is much higher in the coastal areas while the Pacific north-west can be extremely hot and dry. The rainy season starts in May and finishes in November. The dry season is December to May, though temperature differences between summer and winter are slight.

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