Mini Cuban cigar tour
Lobster lunch and drinks on Cayo Jutia island Included in the price.
Habanos Cigar Festival, Havana, Cuba
Pinar del Rio is the most westerly province of Cuba. The Vinales valley possesses some of the most outstanding scenery on the planet with tall limestone ‘mogotes’ dominating the landscape of fertile red soils contrasting with the lush greenery. This is the land of cigar plantations, oxen and carts ploughing the soil, Guajiro campesinos riding horses like cowboys, old Chevrolets spluttering along the almost deserted roads. One is suspended in time, as though nothing had changed since the fifties. This is why we consider this tour so special; it is a slice of Cuba’s present steeped in the past.
ITINERARY (3 days, 2 nights)
Depart early from Havana to Pinar del Rio town. Visit the Francisco Donatien cigar factory which was formerly a prison but now serves as one of the only factories in Cuba that still offers tours. One of Cuba’s best cigar brands, Trinidad, is rolled here. Visit the excellent cigar shop opposite. Head to Vinales to a typical Cuban farm to have a special lunch of pork steaks with all the trimmings and an open bar. See the tobacco barn which is used for drying the tobacco leaves. Learn how to roll a cigar with a Master roller. Option for horse riding along the trails with a guide.
We drive to Cayo Jutia named after the Cuban rodent which resembles a large rat. This is a beautiful island off the north coast connected by a causeway. Totally unspoilt beaches vie with a crystal clear sea where one can swim or snorkel. Then we partake in a fabulous lobster lunch barbecue style. Open bar provided. In the afternoon, lie on the beach and try to recall what Christopher Columbus mentioned when he first saw the island of Cuba – ‘Never have I seen a paradise such as this’.
Adjoining the Hoyo de Monterrey cigar plantation, one of Cuba’s best known cigar brands, we visit the master grower of Capas (cigar wrappers), Pancho Cuba, who has gained a reputation that is catching up with Cuba’s most famous planter – Alejandro Robaina, now deceased. Then we visit the Finca of Alejandro Robaina in San Luis which is now run by Hiroshi, his ebullient grandson. Here we have a cocktail and cigar and a guided tour of the place. If it is the growing season between November to February, we will see the tobacco plants.
Lobster lunch and drinks on Cayo Jutia island Included in the price:
- Two nights accommodation in 3 star hotel B&B
- Air conditioned car or bus with private English speaking guide/driver
- All entrances to tobacco plantations
- Lunch at Farmer’s house on second day
- Pick up and drop off Havana hotel
- Three cigars for tasting