Silver Screen Destinations: Apocalypto

Say what you will about Mel Gibson (and I can think of plenty of things to say), but the man certainly knows how to pick remarkable backdrops for films that are equally remarkable for their violent content. When it came time to film his Mayan epic, Apocalypto, he headed south to the Mexican state of Veracruz. One of the locations was near the town of Catemaco, a little town known for its “Annual Gathering of Witches.”

The town also played host for the film of Sean Connery’s Medicine Man back in the 1990s.

Today it’s an out-of-the-way favorite for folks looking to get a little further off the tourist trail. Favorite activities are said to involve local witchcraft practitioners, or for something more traditional, rapelling down coastal cliffs to waiting boats. Also nearby is the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve. And yes, the natives are quite friendly.