The Operation Christmas Drop Location: Welcome to Guam!

Kat Graham and Alexander Ludwig swimming
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Guam is not George Michael's former pop music duo, but a remote island in the western Pacific Ocean. It is also the largest island in Micronesia, roughly four times the size of Manhattan, and the location where Operation Christmas Drop was entirely filmed.

The Netflix movie stars Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) playing Erica, a congressional aide who travels to this US territory. She has to find reasons to close down a beachside Air Force base where Andrew (Alexander Ludwig, known for his role as Björn Ironside in Vikings) works as a pilot.

The film is inspired by the real-life Operation Christmas Drop, a tradition that started in 1952 and now includes 56 islands throughout the Pacific Ocean. The "Love from above" program benefits around 22,000 islanders scattered across 1,8 million square nautical miles (a crazy lot of Manhattan islands). Here is our filming locations report:

Where was Operation Christmas Drop filmed?

Andersen Air Force Base
The air-drop operations scenes pictured in the movie were filmed in the Andersen Air Force Base. This military complex is the only base in the Western Pacific that services heavy strategic bombers, like the B-1B, B-2, and B-52. Guam is like a massive aircraft carrier surrounded by delightful beaches.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Chamorro Village
Erica and Andrew visit the Chamorro Village (I Sengsong Chamorro) located in the capital city, Hagåtña. If the kids say 'Feliz Navidad' at the beginning of the movie is because the indigenous Chamorros were colonized by the Spanish Crown in the 16th-century. The Spaniards used the island as a key resting stop for the Manila galleons, en route to the Philippines (aircraft carriers had not yet been invented). The United States occupied Guam after Spain's defeat in the 1898 Spanish–American War. Image courtesy of Netflix Map


Operation Christmas Drop Guam
Traveling to Guam is expensive as the island is not a popular tourist spot, and few airlines are offering this destination. But if you do, you'll be rewarded with alluring beaches surrounded by a coral reef and crystal clear waters, like the secluded Ritidian Beach in the north, or Tanguisson Beach and Hilaan Beach featuring mushroom-shaped rocks. Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Operation Christmas Drop Location
After the helicopter ride, the couple (whoops, mini-predictable spoiler) visits an isolated community. The scene was filmed in Gun Beach, located near Tumon, Guam's main tourist town. Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Dónde se rodó Operación Feliz Navidad
However, the traditional village looks like Talofofo, a cultural heritage settlement displaying the beautiful original architecture of the Micronesian peoples before the arrival of the Europeans. What a pity that the film doesn't show any of the old Spanish stone bridges, spread all over the island. Image courtesy of Netflix Map


Alles Gute kommt von oben drehort
The Christmas party was filmed in the Westin Resort Guam, a magnificent 5-star hotel located on a private beach in Tumon Bay with rates starting at $240 per night. By the way, the multicolor lizard that Erica finds in her room, although it totally looks like CGI, this kind of reptile really exists. The little dragon is a Gold dust day gecko, a species native to Madagascar that has also been introduced to some Pacific islands. Image courtesy of Netflix Map

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