History of the Havana cigar & factory visits
Activities, Cuba
 11 May '23
 70 |  0 

Havana cigars are cigars manufactured in Cuba from tobacco grown within that island nation. They are historically regarded as among the world’s finest and are synonymous with the island’s culture. The filler, binder, and wrapper may come from different areas of the island, though much is produced in Pinar del Río province, in the regions of Vuelta Abajo and Semi Vuelta, as well as in farms in the Viñales region.[1]

Go immediately to Cigar Tours

We learned it from the Cuban and they from the Mayan

The history of Havana cigars dates back to the 15th century, when tobacco smoking was first observed by European explorers when encountering the indigenous Taíno people of Cuba. The Taíno were an Arawak-speaking people who inhabited most of the Greater Antilles, as well as parts of Florida and the Bahamas. They had a rich and complex culture that included agriculture, fishing, hunting, pottery, basketry, and religious rituals. The word cigar originally derives from the Mayan sikar (“to smoke rolled tobacco leaves”). The Spanish word, “cigarro” spans the gap between the Mayan and modern use.[2]

Spreading to Europe

The Spanish introduced tobacco to other parts of Europe and its popularity spread. During the 17th century, widespread growth in tobacco use led to condemnation and regulation in Europe. In 1606, Philip III of Spain banned the cultivation of tobacco, though this ban was lifted in 1614. Nevertheless, a special tax was thereafter placed on tobacco imports, with Cuban imports subject to the highest rates. In the early 18th century, increased regulation from Spain sparked armed protests from vegueros (settler growers).[3]

In the 19th century, Cuban cigar production flourished under the influence of Don Jaime Partagás y Ravelo, who founded one of the oldest and most famous cigar factories in Havana. He also experimented with different methods of fermenting and aging tobacco and introduced a secret blend of tobacco from various regions of Cuba.[4]

In 1869, Spanish cigar manufacturer Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his operations from Havana to Key West, Florida to escape the turmoil of the Ten Years’ War. Other manufacturers followed, and Key West became an important cigar manufacturing center by specializing in “Clear Havana” cigars—hand-rolled cigars made from Cuban tobacco by mostly Cuban workers in the United States.[5]

The Cuban Revolution in 1959 led to the nationalization of the cigar industry and the exodus of many cigar makers to other countries. The US embargo on Cuba also affected the availability and quality of Cuban cigars. Despite these challenges, Havana cigars have maintained their reputation and demand among cigar aficionados around the world.[6]

Powered by GetYourGuide

Women smoking cigars

Is there a reason that so many older women on Cuba smoke big cigars? There is no definitive answer to this question, but some possible explanations are:

  • Smoking cigars is a cultural tradition that dates back to pre-Columbian times, when indigenous people used tobacco for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.[7]
  • Smoking cigars is a sign of status and prestige, especially for women who have overcome hardships and achieved success in their lives.[8]
  • Smoking cigars is a way of expressing one’s personality and identity, as well as enjoying the flavor and aroma of different types of tobacco.[9]
  • Smoking cigars is a form of resistance and rebellion against social norms and expectations that limit women’s choices and freedoms.[10]

References:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_cigar
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigar
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_cigar#History
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partag%C3%A1s_(cigar_brand)
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigar#History
[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_cigar#Post-revolution
[7] https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/the-history-of-cigars-7830
[8] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/22/cuba-cigars-women-female-smokers-havana
[9] https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/cuba-women-cigars/index.html
[10] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35814975

Tours and visits

There are several cigar factories in Cuba that offer tours to visitors. Some of the most popular ones include:

La Corona Factory

One of the largest cigar factories in Cuba that produces upwards of 30,000 cigars each day. The factory tour takes you through each of the sections which have over six hundred workers who fill a variety of roles. Tours last around thirty minutes and you should purchase tickets in advance¹. Visit Cuban Cigar Factory Tours | Endless Caribbean.

Partagas Cigar Factory

One of Cuba’s well-known factories that produces many of the popular cigar brands. It was founded in 1845 and it makes over five million cigars each year. It is the oldest cigar factory in Cuba, also called the Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagas which is housed in a well-preserved industrial building dating from 1845³. It is located across the street from the massive Capitol building in Havana ³. I hope this helps!

Source: Conversation with Bing, 8/24/2023
(1) Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagás – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Fabrica_de_Tabacos_Partag%C3%A1s.
(2) . https://bing.com/search?q=oldest+cigar+factory+Cuba.
(3) El Laguito Cigar Factory. https://www.vintagecarstours.com/5-places-to-visit-in-havana-for-the-best-cigar-tour/.
(4) Discover the Oldest Cigar Brands in the World – Cuenca Cigars. https://www.cuencacigars.com/blog/discover-the-oldest-cigar-brands-in-the-world/.
(5) Behind the Legacy of Little Havana’s Cuba… | Culture Trip. https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/florida/articles/little-havana-and-the-cuba-tobacco-cigar-factory.

The factory tour allows visitors to witness the cigar making process first hand¹. Visit Cuban Cigar Factory Tours | Endless Caribbean.

Romeo y Julieta Cigar Factory/ H. Upmann Cigar Factory

The Romeo y Julieta Cigar Factory is temporarily operating as the H. Upmann Cigar Factory. Visitors can witness the cigar making process from taking tobacco off of the trucks to sorting tobacco leaves, rolling and wrapping the cigars and correctly labelling each cigar¹. Visit Cuban Cigar Factory Tours | Endless Caribbean.

You can also check out this article from Bucket List Travels for more information on cigar factory tours in Havana ². Visit Cigar factory tours | Best things to do in Havana – Bucket List Travels.

More tours on The Cigar Trail | Cuban Adventures.

Buying cigars

You can bring back Cuban cigars to your country for personal use. However, the amount of cigars you can bring back varies depending on the country you are traveling to and from. For example, if you are traveling to the United States from Cuba, you can bring back up to 100 cigars for personal use ². I hope this helps!

Source: Conversation with Bing, 8/24/2023
(1) Cuban Cigars and the Updated Laws – LiveAbout. https://www.liveabout.com/cuban-cigars-are-cuban-cigars-legal-719511.
(2) FAQs – Alcohol, tobacco and excise duties – EUROPA. https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/carry/alcohol-tobacco-cash/faq/index_en.htm.
(3) How Many Cuban Cigars Can I Bring Back To The Usa 2022. https://mary-catherinerd.com/how-many-cuban-cigars-can-i-bring-back-to-the-usa/.
(4) Finally, You Can Bring Cuban Cigars and Rum Home From Anywhere. https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/finally-you-can-bring-cuban-cigars-and-rum-home-from-anywhere-w444956.
(5) Bringing in Cuban goods and/or cigars into the United States. https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-82?language=en_US.

The amount of Cuban cigars you can bring back to your country varies depending on the country you are traveling to and from. For example, if you are traveling to the United States from Cuba, you can bring back up to 100 cigars for personal use ². You can find more information on the personal use allowance for alcohol, tobacco and other goods in the European Union on this page ¹. I hope this helps!

Source: Conversation with Bing, 8/24/2023
(1) Bringing in Cuban goods and/or cigars into the United States. https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-82?language=en_US.
(2) FAQs – Alcohol, tobacco and excise duties – EUROPA. https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/carry/alcohol-tobacco-cash/faq/index_en.htm.
(3) Duty Free allowances limits into | Cuba. http://www.dutyfreeonarrival.com/en/allowances/HOG/Cuba.

It is important to note that you are required to declare any goods that exceed the personal use allowance set by the country you are traveling to and from. If you are unsure about the personal use allowance for your country, it is best to check with your local customs office or embassy before traveling.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Direct hire fdh.