Where Was Narcos Filmed? Narcos tells the true story of notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who became a billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine.
This Netflix original series begins with the man’s humble beginnings as he tries to become a soccer star before turning to crime. As his empire grows, so does his lust for notoriety and infamy. Soon enough, he is sending his steely-eyed hitmen out to eliminate anyone who stands in his way.
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The location scouting in Narcos must have been quite extensive. Because the showrunners managed to find some stunning locations that are every bit as luxurious and decadent as Pablo’s Colombian villas. They also showcase some of the most remote and dangerous places on the planet.
If you’re looking for a vacation from reality, check out the following seven exotic filming locations from Narcos Season 1
Where Was Narcos Filmed?
1) Teotihuacan, Mexico – Cali Cartel Hideout
In S01E03, we see a meeting between four of Pablo Escobar’s most trusted men as they discuss the cartel’s future. They meet at a luxurious hacienda in Teotihuacan – an archaeological complex located about 30 miles northeast of Mexico City.
The site features two massive pyramids – The Pyramid of the Sun and The Pyramid of the Moon – built between 100 BC and 100 AD by the pre-Aztec people of the area.
Today Teotihuacan is one of Mexico’s biggest tourist attractions, with around 3 million visitors per year. The site was also used as a location in Quantum of Solace. It can be clearly seen at the movie’s beginning as James Bond chases Patrice in his Aston Martin DBS.
2) Hatfield Aerodrome, Hertfordshire, England – Pablo Escobar’s UK Hideout
In Episode 6 of Narcos Season 1, Pablo enjoys a pampered lifestyle in his private apartment at the famous El Gran Hotel Europa in Bogota.
The next morning he gets ready for a meeting at the airport, picked up by his bodyguards and driven to an airfield with a private hangar.
The hangar used for this scene actually belongs to the Hatfield Aerodrome – one of the oldest working airfields in Europe, which has been operational since WWI. The hangars you see were built during WWII as part of a secret military project.
Today Hatfield Aerodrome is a privately-owned business park. It provides space for several aviation companies offering flight training, storage facilities, and aircraft maintenance.
Scenes from TV series such as The Bill, Endeavour, and Foyle’s War have been filmed at the airfield.
3) Carrera Hotel, Cali, Colombia – Escobar’s Hideout
In one of the final scenes in Season 1 of Narcos, we see Pablo talking to his pregnant wife. At the same time, they hide from their enemies at a luxury hotel after he narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.
This location is actually the Carrera Hotel in Cali, Colombia. It was used as a filming location for several other movies and TV shows, such as Clear and Present Danger (1994), The Dark Knight (2008), and Fast & Furious (2009).
The luxury hotel opened in 1972 and was designed by the French architect Louis Dupuy. It features marble floors throughout its 560 guest rooms, a presidential suite with a private courtyard, an 18-hole golf course, and a ballroom that can hold 1,200 guests.
4) La Isla Grande Prison, Colombia – Pablo Escobar’s Prison
In Season 1 of Narcos we see the dramatic prison break of Pablo Escobar after he is imprisoned at La Catedral Prison in his home city of Medellín.
The location where this daring escape took place was actually on the island of La Isla Grande in Panama City, Panama.
This prison wasn’t actually built until 1993, which means it didn’t exist when Escobar was on the run from authorities after being imprisoned for more than a year at another facility.
La Isla Grande is an artificial island made out of large concrete tetrapods and interconnected steel frames. The prison itself is a combination of high-tech surveillance equipment and old-fashioned watchtowers to ensure the prisoners don’t try to escape.
5) South Of France – Pablo Escobar’s Hideout
In one of the final scenes in Season 1 of Narcos, we see a young, fashionable couple enjoying a lifestyle of riches as Pablo Escobar’s guests at his luxurious villa by the water in Southern France. Actually, it was filmed near Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera.
This beautiful coastal area has been featured countless times in movies and TV shows over the years, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), A View To Kill (1985), Ronin (1998), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), and Taken 2 (2012).
6) La Estrella Train Station, Chihuahua – El Chapo’s Prison Escape Route
In Season 3 of Narcos we see the dramatic escape of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman from a Mexican prison.
As you might have expected by now, this scene was also not filmed at the real location because it all took place inside the shower facilities in his cell block.
Instead, the production team used La Estrella station to represent one end of an underground tunnel leading to Mexico City. El Chapo was waiting for his guards, who helped him out through connecting tunnels.
The train station itself is located 36 miles east-northeast of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua in Mexico.