by Holly Gondolieri
Hollywood and Broadway are very popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles and New York. Big budget movies, famous actors and actresses, and familiar movie sets have always had a great appeal towards the masses. However, movies and actresses are not really what tourists and vacationers come to the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico for. The peninsula of Baja California which is comprised of several municipalities and a handful of islands are known for their pristine beaches, colorful local culture, impressive mountain ranges, and numerous recreational activities. But not a lot of people know that Baja also appeals to those who love movies and entertainment. Located in the popular tourist destination of Baja California is the Baja Studio and the newly built Xploration movie theme park.
I have recently discovered a very interesting attraction in Baja during the last spring break trip I had with my roommates and friends. On our way to Ensenada which is somewhere south of Tijuana, we happen to see several signs advertising the Baja Studio and Xploration theme park and decided to make a quick stop over to check it out. Like almost everything in the peninsula, I expected the Baja Studio to be small and quaint. But surprise of all surprises, the Baja Studio was an extremely large compound that houses several indoor studios and plenty of impressive and very familiar outdoor movie sets.
Even from a hundred meters or more, an intriguingly familiar cruise ship can be seen sitting majestically beside a harbor that looks out to the scenic Pacific Ocean. The supposedly sunken cruise ship that is the Titanic sits idly inside the Baja Studio where it is occasionally used as a prop for other movies, commercials and television shows. This very familiar movie prop/set even has plenty of life size mannequins standing aboard it dressed in movie costumes. The Baja Studio Xploration lets visitors explore the wonderful Baja Studio. Aside from getting to see plenty of interesting things and learning the history of this great Baja attraction, visitors also get to learn a couple of things about film making.
The Baja Studio tour was both very informative as well as extremely entertaining. Several very knowledgeable and charming tour guides conducted us to different areas in the Baja Studio such as movie sets, trailers, offices, dressing rooms and production areas. We saw filming equipments such as cameras, lights, camera tracks, and other complicated looking machines. The tour guides were also very kind to show us different tricks and processes involved in making movies.
According to the Baja Studio guides, there have been several very well-known films that have been shot in Baja Studio. Aside from the worldwide blockbuster hit which is the Titanic, other films made in Baja Studios are Pearl Harbor, Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World, Tomorrow Never Dies, Deep Blue Sea and several more whose titles I cannot remember. I noticed that there are plenty of movies made in Baja Studios that involve underwater and ocean scenes, this is probably because of the great location of the Studio where they can make use of the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and the Rosarito beaches.
As a movie fanatic, I really enjoyed visiting the Baja Studio in Rosarito. Those who love the limelight and the camera are sure to find Baja Studio and Xploration in Baja California a wonderful place to visit anytime of the year.