Did You Know Sierra Nevada Was a Filming Location of Netflix's 'Society of the Snow'?

Ever wondered where the breathtaking scenes of survival in the ‘Society of the Snow’ (in Spanish: Sociedad de las Nieves) were filmed? Well, buckle up because we’re taking you on a thrilling journey through Sierra Nevada, the breathtaking backdrop that stole the show in the ‘Society of the Snow’.

The movie was filmed in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain, the Andes, and Chile. In the heart of the mesmerizing Sierra Nevada mountains, Juan Antonio Bayona unfolds a tale of survival, resilience, and human spirit on the silver screen.If you haven’t caught this Netflix sensation yet, trust us, you’re missing out on one of Netflix’s latest hits. Much of this cinematic masterpiece was shot against the majestic Sierra Nevada ski resort in Granada, Spain, providing viewers with a visually stunning and authentic setting.

the society of the snow
Photo credit: Netflix

The Andes Plane Crash:

Forty-nine years ago, a rugby team from Montevideo faced an unimaginable tragedy when their plane crashed against a glacier in the Andes. Only 16 of the 45 passengers survived, facing impossible decisions and relying on each other to stay afloat. Now, J.A Bayona captures this chilling narrative in the ‘Society of the Snow,’ revealing the strength and determination of those who defied the odds to survive.

Filming Locations: 

In crafting ‘La Sociedad de la Nieve’, J.A. Bayona prioritized authenticity, choosing real locations for filming. Sierra Nevada emerged as the primary setting, though the challenging crash site led to creative decisions like Laguna de las Yeguas, shooting the film in various places, ensuring both safety and a genuine storytelling experience.

Sierra Nevada (Granada): the location of the accident

Sierra Nevada served as the primary filming location, providing a stunning and authentic setting for the external scenes of the crashed plane. It became the chosen setting for filming the movie due to the inherent challenges of capturing the exact crash site safely. Despite multiple visits to the Valle de las Lágrimas, J.A. Bayona opted for a safer and more accessible environment.

Challenges and Creativity: Laguna de las Yeguas

The chosen spot to shoot the exterior scenes of the plane – Laguna de las Yeguas, at 2,900 meters – presented challenges as natural snow was scarce during the spring 2022 filming. The team creatively used polymers and cellulose to simulate snow. Despite being in Spain’s significant mountain range, emulating the Andes proved challenging, with J.A. Bayona highlighting the deceptive nature of the mountains, requiring camera adjustments to convey their steepness.

The crew ventured into various spots within Sierra Nevada, including Pradollano and Valle del Yagues, to capture the breathtaking landscapes that formed the backdrop of this harrowing tale.

Beyond Borders: Filming in Montevideo and the Andes

The film’s shooting also extended beyond Spain, with scenes filmed in Montevideo, Uruguay, and various locations in the Andes, spanning both Chile and Argentina. One notable location is El Valle de las Lágrimas (Vale of Tears), the actual site where the tragic story unfolded.

In Cortijo de La Argumosa, in Güéjar, 45 minutes drive from Sierra Nevada ski resort, the filmmakers took their craft to the next level by meticulously recreating the interior of the aircraft. This wasn’t just any recreation—it happened in a massive hangar at Los Peñones parking lot, where every detail was thoughtfully considered. The dedication extended to replicating the exact model of the Farichild FH-227FD, ensuring a hyper-realistic portrayal of the events that unfolded within the confines of the plane.

Whether it was the vast expanses of Sierra Nevada, the picturesque Pradollano, or the recreated interiors in Güéjar Sierra’s hangar, each location played a crucial role in bringing the ‘Society of the Snow’ to life. This attention to detail not only adds authenticity to the film but also allows viewers to immerse themselves in the chilling narrative against the backdrop of these carefully chosen settings.

Global Recognition on Netflix:

‘Society of the Snow,’ filmed in Granada, has achieved global acclaim as the most-watched film on Netflix worldwide. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s got everything – drama, suspense, and, of course, the stunning Sierra Nevada as its playground.  The movie’s success highlights the universal appeal of its gripping storyline and the outstanding craftsmanship that went into its creation.

Triumph at the Goya Awards:

The triumph of Juan Antonio Bayona and the ‘Society of the Snow’ extends beyond the screen to the prestigious Goya Awards. The film secured an astounding 12 out of 13 nominations, making it the third most-awarded film in Goya history, only surpassed by ‘Mar Adentro’ (14 Goyas) and ‘¡Ay Carmela!’ (13 Goyas).

Awards Galore:

At the 38th edition of the Goya Awards, the ‘Society of the Snow’ clinched victories in multiple categories, including Best Film, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Original Music, and more. The film’s success at the Goyas solidified Bayona’s position as a master storyteller, earning him accolades that had resisted him since his debut with ‘El Orfanato’ 16 years prior. 

Catch the cinematic wave! 

If you prefer the big screen experience, don’t miss ‘La Sociedad de la Nieve’ as it graces cinemas in coastal towns such as Fuengirola (Miramar), Marbella (La Cañada), and Vélez-Málaga (El Ingenio). Juan Antonio Bayona’s triumph with the ‘Society of the Snow’ has propelled it to become the third most-awarded film in the history of the Goya Awards. Talk about making a splash in the world of cinema!

Alternatively, if home comfort is more your style, dive into the captivating narrative on Netflix.

Explore Sierra Nevada’s Cinematic Enchantment

If you’re inspired by the courage and resilience depicted in the ‘Society of the Snow’ and want to immerse yourself in the same breathtaking landscapes featured in the film, consider visiting Sierra Nevada. Whether you’re an avid skier or simply seeking a captivating destination, Sierra Nevada offers an opportunity to step into the scenes that captured the essence of this cinematic masterpiece. 


As ‘La Sociedad de la Nieve’ continues to captivate audiences worldwide, it not only serves as a reminder of historical events but also beckons viewers to Sierra Nevada, inviting them to become part of the landscape that contributed to the film’s authenticity. J.A. Bayona’s cinematic masterpiece stands as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling, showcasing the human spirit’s ability to overcome even the most harrowing challenges in the majestic backdrop of Sierra Nevada.