Sensual and sultry communist Caribbean capital, home to captivating, crumbling architecture, and enlivened by dance, music, avant-garde art and cocktails. Impossible to describe, there’s nowhere else quite like it.
Travel bucket list idea:
Cigar factory tours
Winston Churchill puffed on Romeo y Julieta, Che Guevara on Montecristo, and Fidel Castro’s favourite smoke was a Cohiba.
Cuban cigars are famous around the world. There’s a reason: it’s the combination of a perfect blend of tobacco plant terroir in southwestern Cuba, the climate, and the 200 artisanal processes that crafts a cigar from its tiny beginnings as a pinhead-sized tobacco seed to luxury smoke.
There are around 40 cigar factories in Cuba, with Partagas – one of the biggest – offering tours on weekday mornings. This is a unique chance to see the cigar-making process in one of the very few Havana factories open to the public.
Getting there & doing it
Tickets can only be bought at tourism bureaux desks inside government-owned hotels. No tickets are sold at the door. Tour length varies but are usually 45mins to an hour. Pick up and drop-offs to hotels is usually included in the price.
Bags must be placed in lockers and no photography is allowed. An officially sanctioned store selling cigars is just around the corner.
When to do it
Tours run in the mornings, from Monday to Friday; they are popular so it’s a good idea to book in advance (either online or through your concierge) rather than just turning up. The tours are always busy, but if you go on the last one of the morning there may be slightly fewer crowds.
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