Learn about the tradition of Cuban cigars and the art of tobacco rolling by a local guide. A world full of aromas, essences and a lot of flavor. The west of the country is the cradle of the famous tobacco fields where the raw material of Cuban cigars is grown. But it is precisely in Habana where its most important factories are settled. The route includes a tour around these factories to appreciate Cubans have mastered such an ancient craft, while you will be able to get some cigars for later tasting. In addition, you will discover a thematic museum as well as other places to buy and smoke traditional Cuban cigars, highly frequented by Habanos' lovers.
The tobacco plant is originally from South America and, according to researchers, it must have reached the island of Cuba about 2.600 years ago. Cristóbal Colón found that the Taíno Indians smoked a bunch of twisted and rolled leaves that they called Cohíba. It was then that the Spaniards began exporting tobacco leaves to Europe to produce cigars in their factories. But when they realized that the cigars of Habana survived the transatlantic journey much better than the leaf itself, the cigar factories began to be built in Cuba. Between 1830 and 1850 the great brands were founded, many of which survive until today.
Tobacco cultivation is the vital impulse of the Viñales region today, and farmers still use traditional farming methods to grow tobacco in the valley. Two hundred years later, tobacco remains the main crop in this valley.
Our route begins with a visit to Romeo y Julieta tobacco factory, where you will be able to discover how they elaborate the classic medium-sized Cuban cigar. You will be able to know about the history of Cuban tobacco, its elaboration and distribution process; you will also be able to interact with factory workers. You will have the opportunity to get an inside look at the favorite cigar of one of the most devoted smokers of the Romeo and Juliet brand, Winston Churchill. Besides, you can taste the balanced and aromatic blend that characterizes that cigar, made with fillers and binders leaves from the Vuelta Abajo region.
You will make a mandatory stop at the Museo del Tabaco to discover how the art of smoking cigars developed in Habana, as well as to know objects and personalities linked to the universe of Habanos. You will watch its collections linked to the planting, processing and trading of Cuban tobacco. It exhibits a large collection of pipes, leaves and other related objects, as well as a collection of lithographic stones and machines of important cigar brands. From the inside, you can also get to the Casa Especializada del Habano, a small shop where you can buy different brands of cigars and various objects for smokers.
After a welcome coffee in the Hostal Conde de Villanueva, you will enter the second floor of the hostel, where, in a more personal atmosphere, you can appreciate the process of "torcedura" (rolling cigars). The hostel has seven rooms, each of which is named after a prestigious brand of cigars. In addition, smoking is permitted in all the premises, including in the restaurant, which turns the hostel into an oasis for smokers. There, you can buy cigars of different brands and enjoy the smoking room. With an unmistakable aroma, the Casa del Habano offers cigars of the best brands waiting to be tasted in their own salons.
To end this getaway to the aroma of the Cuban cigar, you will go to the Palacio de la Artesanía. This place has tobacco plantations in its yard, where you will learn how to roll a cigar and. At the entrance, there is a store to buy cigars, coffee, rum, shirts, jewelry and handicrafts. You can even enjoy good Cuban music, featuring the Compañía Habana Compás Dance live in the inner courtyard.
During the tour, do not miss to visit:
For lunch we will stop at a "paladar" where you can taste an excellent traditional Cuban fusion food.
All private field trips and city tours can be modified and adapted to the client's needs.
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