On the trail of the world’s best tobacco

211The Tabacco Trail could begin from this September in Pinar del Río, Cuba’s westernmost province and birthplace of, according to many, the world’s best habanos (Cuban cigars).

“It’s a day tour and although similar offers already exist, this is the first one in Cuba which encompasses the whole process, from the cultivation stage to the final product,” explained Débora Henríquez, Ministry of Tourism representative in Pinar del Río, to the press.

The tour would begin at the Information Center, known as the Parador Las Barrigoas, located on kilometer 120 of the Central Highway to Pinar del Río, where visitors will receive the tour itinerary.

The route will include stops at tobacco preparation centers, barns, museums and farms where tourists will learn about and participate in the cultivation process, working with campesinos, cigar rollers and other industry professionals.

An important feature of the tour will be participants’ chance to meet the “habano man,” Héctor Luis Prieto, as well as visit the farms of some of the top tobacco producers in the world, such as those belonging to Gerardo Medina, Pancho Cuba and the late Alejandro Robaina.

“We have spent a long time developing this cultural offer, which celebrates the iconic agrarian traditions of the zone,” added Débora Henríquez.

ruta-tabaco

At the departure point the various groups will be organized into their tours according to the different stages of the tobacco harvest across the four participating municipalities (San Juan y Martínez, San Luis, Consolación del Sur and Pinar del Río) guaranteeing activity throughout the year.

The route is also planned around the Tobacco Farmer Festival, while the Vueltabajo hotel, located in the city of Pinar del Rio, is scheduled to be converted in to a thematic facility and principal accommodation site.

Work is also underway to install air conditioning units in the Visitors Center and Services Complex on the route to San Juan y Martínez, branded by locals as the Mecca of Tobacco.

Photo: Eduardo Gonzalez
Photo: Eduardo Gonzalez

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