Jungle Cruise movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Jungle Cruise filmed?

2021

About Jungle Cruise

In the Disney film, Jungle Cruise we follow the botanist and adventurer Dr. Lily Houghton, played by Emily Blunt, as she and her brother make the journey from London, England all the way to the jungles of the Amazon as they search for a mysterious ancient tree existing only in legends. According to the stories, this tree has incredible healing abilities and Lily is determined to bring samples back home and to change the future of medicine. However, finding the Tree of Life won’t be easy and she will have to entrust the journey to a steamboat skipper named Frank, who is played by the talented Dwayne Johnson.

Along the way the group will come across obstacles and dangerous encounters, as many creatures in the forest and the jungle itself are trying to kill them. To make matters worse, they are not the only ones searching for the Tree of Life, and supernatural beings and curses will stand in their way. This action-adventure and comedy movie was released in the summer of 2021.

Disney’s Jungle Cruise was actually made based on the popular Jungle Cruise ride at their theme park. If you have ever been on the ride before then you might even recognize some of the lines from the movie, since the witty jokes that Frank makes on his tour of the jungle are actually taken from the rides and you can expect the same humor from your own jungle guide! Spoiler alert: we’ll discuss lots of fun action from the entire film!

City Locations

Atlanta, Kaua’i, Oxford

Location Types

Nature Scapes, Cape Cod, Beach/Oceanview, Ship Docks

Location Styles

Boat Style, Cape Cod, Exotic/Tropical, Shipping Yard/Dock

Jungle Cruise Locations

In Jungle Cruise our main characters have to travel down the river of a lush green forest and venture into the jungle to find the legendary Tree of Life. Although the film is set in the Amazon it was actually filmed in two cities; Atlanta and the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii. These beautiful areas were the perfect Jungle Cruise filming locations, since the natural landscapes and ecosystems set the scene perfectly for the film.

The movie uses an impressive amount of CGI in order to bring the fantasy land to life, but the actors also had to travel to shoot many of the scenes. Lots of the places that filming took place required sets to be built, and although those sets might not be there today you can still stop by to see where filming took place. If you want to see some of these locations in real life then keep reading to find out exactly where Jungle Cruise was filmed.

Lily steals artifact at Royal Anthropological and Diverse Adventures Society scene in Jungle Cruise

Oxford College of Emory University

Near the beginning of our adventure in Disney’s Jungle Cruise, we see Lily and her brother at the Royal Anthropological and Diverse Adventures Society. It doesn’t take us long to notice that the society is quite misogynistic and does not include women in their ranks, which is why Lily puts her brother, MacGregor, up to the task of distracting them while she breaks into their storage to search for an important artifact. During his speech where he asks the council for financial support, he gives us a hint as to what he and his sister are really looking for; “All legends are born in truth. From the Amazon came the legend of the Tears of the Moon. A single petal from the great Tree could cure any illness and break any curse.”

Meanwhile, viewers watch as Lily breaks into the archives with skill and resourcefulness, timing her movements in order to avoid the staff who are working in the same room. After navigating the room and searching through boxes she manages to get her hands on the artifact, which is an ancient looking arrowhead, until she is spotted. This is when we first meet Prince Joachim, our main villain, and she manages to narrowly escape with the item. This is a great introduction to the main characters, and shows exactly how determined Lily is to not let anything stop her on her quest!

This well choreographed scene is significantly made using CGI. The outside of the building, for example, was created and put up on set and most of the cars and streets that you see outside are also not real. However, some of the crew and extra actors were spotted in Oxford all dressed for the setting. It is assumed that some of the scenes taking place inside the society were filmed at the Oxford College of Emory University. Come visit in person to see if you can recognize any of the Jungle Cruise locations from this scene!

Lily and MacGregor arrive in Porto Velho scene in Jungle Cruise

Kilohana Plantation Railway

After successfully snatching the artifact, we continue our journey into the jungles of the Amazon in search for the Tree of Life. Lily has to convince MacGregor to accompany her on the trip, although it doesn’t take too much convincing since he is worried about her traversing the jungle alone. However, this doesn’t stop him from complaining, saying; “If I wanted to go to a primitive backwater where I can’t understand a word anyone’s saying, I’d visit our relatives in Scotland.”

But soon enough, you see the pair exiting the train station and entering the city of Porta Velho in the Amazon. This is where they begin their search for a skipper who can take them into the jungle by boat and can finally begin their quest for the Tree of Life.

Although the scene is short, it is full of some great moments. The railroad station used in the film was actually the Kilohana Plantation Railway situated close to Lihue. This structure was perfect for the movie since, although it is a modern building, it was constructed to resemble a historical railway station with Hawaiian trains that look like those from the 1880s. Come visit in person and maybe take a ride on one of the awesome old trains which can bring you on tours through orchards, farmlands and forests!

Frank gives a jungle cruise tour scene in Jungle Cruise

Kapaia Reservoir

Definitely one of the most loved scenes in the film takes place on Frank’s steamboat when he is giving a tour to a group of unimpressed tourists. This scene will definitely remind any fans who have visited the Disneyland theme parks of the Jungle Cruise ride, and Frank does his best to entertain the crowd with some incredibly witty jokes.

One of them being; “You know, before this, I used to work in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn’t concentrate. Yeah, they put the squeeze on me too.” Although the skipper does his best to make his passengers laugh, they are definitely a tough crowd. But one thing is for sure, the audience watching in the theaters definitely enjoyed it.

During this scene, we are brought through the jungle and eventually arrive back at Porto Velho, Brazil. Believe it or not, but the city where Frank concludes his boat tour was not filmed in Brazil and does not actually exist. Instead, the film crew spent nearly six months creating the set at the Kapaia Reservoir in Kauai, Hawaii. The set was massive but was definitely worth the effort for one of the funniest scenes in Jungle Cruise. After filming was finished, the set was taken away and the area was restored to its previous use as a reservoir. It is located on private property, so if you want to visit in person you will need to contact the owners of the land.

Lily, MacGregor and Frank set off on their adventure scene in Jungle Cruise

Huleia Stream

Now that we have been introduced to all of the main characters, it is time to begin our adventure into the jungle and closer to finding the Tree of Life. Lily and Frank agree on a price and she insists that they leave for the Lagrimas de Cristal, the site where the Tree is supposedly located, right away. However, their departure from the harbor will prove to be the first obstacle on their journey and is one of the best Jungle Cruise action scenes.

Both Lily and Frank have people after them, since Frank had to steal his engine back from a man named Mr. Nilo, who he owes money, and Lily realizes that Prince Joachim is pursuing her and trying to get the arrowhead back. Cue an exciting scene where Frank expertly guides the boat out of the harbor and narrowly misses being shot by Prince Joachim’s torpedoes and machine guns. After the group is safely on their way through the jungle we hear Frank talking lovingly to his boat, which has definitely seen better days; “Look what they did to you. Poor thing. I'm so sorry. Machine guns. Who brings a submarine to the Amazon? But you still outran them. Every time.”

Throughout the film you will see some gorgeous shots of the jungle and birds-eye views of the boat as it passes through a river that winds through the forest. Some of these scenes were shot at the Huleia Stream in Kauai. This place is stunning and filled with wildlife, which is why it has been a filming location for other movies as well. You can come see it in person if you don’t mind going for a bit of a hike, and we recommend taking a guided tour through the area.

Frank and MacGregor have a heartfelt conversation scene in Jungle Cruise

Opaekaa Falls

Although the main characters in the movie are definitely Lily and Frank, the Jungle Cruise production team did a great job at developing secondary characters as well. In this scene we get to learn a lot more about Lily’s brother, MacGregor, as he and Frank sit on the shore of Ucayali Cove and have a heartfelt conversation.

While Lily is still on the boat the boys have decided to rest on the shore of the cove, and Frank complains to MacGregor about Lily’s attitude and asks him why he decides to join her on her adventurers. This is when we learn that MacGregor is actually gay, and was not accepted by his family. “Uncle threatened to disinherit me, friends and family turned their backs… All because of who I loved. I would’ve been ostracized from society were it not for Lily. She stood by me. And for that, I would follow her into a volcano.”

This touching scene in Jungle Cruise is complemented by the beautiful scenery behind the two characters as they talk. You can see breathtaking waterfalls surrounded by lush green trees and flora, and it is quite an amazing sight. This scene actually took place at the Opaekaa Falls in Kauai. You can drive to a nice lookout spot where you can get a good view of the falls from a distance. Do not try walking to them, they sit on private property.

Lily and Frank find the entrance to the Tree of Life scene in Jungle Cruise

Iguazu National Park of Misiones

Eventually, Lily and Frank discover that the entrance to the location of the Tree of Life is actually at a place called La Luna Rota, and not Lagrimas de Cristal. They change course and head there, not knowing that they are still being followed by Prince Joachim and his newfound friends who are hoping to break their curse with the petals from the Tree.

Our favorite pair of adventurers explore the falls at La Luna Rota, and Frank realizes that there is a chamber with a lever in it underneath the water. He believes that if they pull the lever then the entrance will be revealed. But there is only one problem; Frank cannot fit through the opening into the chamber and Lily is afraid of swimming. After lots of encouragement from Frank she understands that the only way that they will get to the Tree of Life is if she faces her fears and swims down into the water to pull the lever. Frank helps swim her down to the chamber, but first he motivates her by saying; “Listen… Look, I can’t do this without you. I need you. You have to trust me.”

This is one of the best scenes in Jungle Cruise, since it shows how much the two adventurers have changed throughout the movie and how much they have learnt to trust each other. This scene takes place in a beautiful place which, unfortunately, was created entirely using CGI. However, it is believed that the cove and its waterfalls were inspired by the amazing Devil’s Throat in the Iguazu National Park of Misiones, Argentina. If you ever find yourself nearby make sure that you take your own cruise to see them in person, they are well worth the journey.

Conclusion

With everything from ancient artifacts and mythical beings to magical trees and curses, Jungle Cruise checks off the list for a thrilling action adventure. If Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride just doesn’t do it for you then you can make your own journey into the beautiful rainforests of Kauai to see where some of the scenes from the movie were filmed. Since most of the movie was shot in the same area it will be easy to see them all, and you should jump on the chance to visit Jungle Cruise locations whenever you can.