Pinar del Río and its Tobacco Route

 
Thu 05 Jan 2017
 

The beauties of Pinar del Río and its tobacco route are available to tourists and locals since its inauguration in late 2015. In BandCuba, Bed and Breakfast in Cuba, it is an honor to guide you to know the best area in the world to grow tobacco. Experience an authentic experience in agro tourism and the exploration of unique natural landscapes recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.

The Cuban Tobacco Tradition

When mentioning the tobacco tradition in Cuba there are names that come out and one of them is Pinar del Río. This region has the most natural protected areas in the country. It is also home to the most important tobacco cultivation lands in the world such as Vuelta Abajo, constituted by San Juan and Martínez and San Luis; And Semi Return where it is the zone of Party, Vuelta Arriba and Remedios.

In this city also you can find important factories such as the Francisco Donatien, where they produce top quality veggie tobaccos. From Pinar del Río comes 80% of the production of this Cuban product. Brands like Cohíba, Partagás and H. Upmann have their origin in this area.

The place has countless landscapes and activities of tourist interest, that is why at the end of 2015 the Ministry of Tourism inaugurated the tobacco route. This full-day tour includes plantations, hotels, restaurants, factories and emblematic areas of Pinar del Río. The objective is for the tourist to come into contact with the heart of the Cuban tobacco tradition.

We will detail for you everything that includes Pinar del Río and its tobacco route, an adventure that you should definitely live.

What can you find in the tobacco route in Pinar del Río?

From the kilometer 120 of the National Highway begins the adventure of the tobacco route in Pinar del Río. Natural landscapes, factories, memorials and different villages dedicated to the tobacco industry are within the itinerary.

The route is open from October 2015 for people from all over the world. The concentration begins in the commercial establishment "Las Barrigonas" in “Consolación del Sur”. From there people will be able to decide if they continue to the west to visit the famous village triad known as Vuelta Abajo.

We do not want you to miss any details of this exciting tour and that is why we have prepared a list of the best places to visit during your tour.

Viñales Valley

The Viñales Valley natural area is one of the most important in Cuba and the one that awakes greater interest in tourists. Its landscapes full of greenery and beauty captivate everyone who comes. It is at a distance about 170 kilometers from Havana and is in the Sierra de los Órganos in Pinar del Río.

In this place you will find impressive caves such as El Indio and San Miguel, species of endemic plants. Between May and August, you can see the turtles of Guanahacabibes, a singular animal of this locality.

The Veguero´s House

This is a plantation also located in the Viñales Valley where you can appreciate the whole process of tobacco collection and drying. The appreciation of this landscape will be for short time. For those who wish a deeper experience, they must hire a different tour that includes more days. Ideal for those interested in knowing everything related to the production of this product.

Francisco Donatien Tobacco Factory

From this factory are born famous brands of Premium Tobacco in Cuba . The entire process of leaf selection, twisting and labeling of the product is done by hand. The colonial house is full of particular aromas that captivate amateurs and experts in Cuban cigars.

In this area you can also see streets and colonial houses . It is in the appreciated triad of villages known as Vuelta Abajo. Around 110 cigarettes a day are twisted. In its nearby shops you can find famous brands of cigars such as Cohiba, Romeo and Juliet, Trinidad, Partagás and Vegueros.

Back Down

In Vuelta Abajo you will find the best land for tobacco planting in the world. The climatic conditions, the experience of the vegueros and the nutrients of the soil make the magic of this zone. It is made up of the towns of San Luis and San Juan and Martínez.

In this space all types of leaves (layer, capote and gut) they produced, also several terrains are marked as Vegas de Primera. This categorization attributed to areas considered the best for cultivation according to the Tobacco Research Institute.

In this area you will be able to:

  • Visit plantations such as Vega El Corojo and Barbecue Blades, located in San Luis.
  • Go to the plantation known as Hoyo de Monterrey in San Juan y Martínez.
  • Appreciate the complete process of planting, selecting and drying tobacco leaves (depends on the time of year).
  • Appreciate the best cigars in the world. In this place thousands of hectares of tobacco they plant every year.

Burned Ruby

One of the great attractions of the tobacco route is the famous Finca Quemado del Rubí. In this place tobacco is grown in two main ways: covered and in the sun, both with good results. The site, run by Héctor Luis Prieto Díaz, known for his Habano of the Year award in 2008.

In this place, people who follow the tobacco route will be able to learn firsthand about the life of the countryside. An authentic home experience full of natural landscapes and a cozy atmosphere. People will have the option to spend the night and eat on the farm. The area is equipped with a rental house and horses for tours on the plantations.

Mirador de Los Jazmines

For those looking for a more comfortable lodging option a good place is the Hotel Los Jazmines. What makes it so attractive is its spectacular viewpoint from where you can see sunsets and beautiful natural landscapes. It also has an excellent gastronomic selection typical of Cuba. A cozy place located just 4 kilometers from Viñales.

Other areas of interest

Also during the tour you will have contact with different information areas, natural routes and access to the tobacco production process. This is a long and interesting walk for all those who appreciate in the tobacco industry. The traveler will have to make decisions on his route based on the process he is most interested in.

What does the tobacco route include?

The tobacco route includes an important amount of benefits and experiences for the traveler. Here we share some for you.

  • Accommodation: The traveler will have the option to stay in private homes to have a closer experience and to be in direct and experiential contact with the tobacco industry. One of the areas to stay is in the Finca Quemado del Rubí. Also in Pinar del Río there are emblematic places to rest such as the Hotel Jazmines, La Ermita (equipped with Swimming pool and surrounded by natural landscapes) and Rancho San Vicente, known for thermal water treatments.
  • Food: You will have the opportunity to taste delicious Cuban breakfasts and lunches. Some typical dishes are: tostones, cassava with mojo, congrí (pork, beans, chicharrones and rice), ajiaco, tamal with seafood casserole, vegetables with meat and Cuban sandwich.
  • High Quality Tobacco: On the route you will have access to the buy of premium quality cigars. This defendant pleads for consumerism, so it is important to bring money to buy this product. The good news is that you can get excellent prices, better than anywhere else in Cuba and the world.
  • Knowledge and Information: One of the greatest benefits of making a route like this is access to top information. You can learn about crop characteristics, tobacco curing process, leaf types, ideal weather conditions, handcrafted twisting and more.
  • Landscapes and heritage: Nature is part of the route; natural monuments will not be scarce. This area is privileged with caves and unique routes in the world.

Set up an itinerary to travel to Pinar del Río

Pinar del Río is an area with high tourist traffic. You must decide the time of the year in which you will carry out this tour and under what conditions. You may want to get to see in depth some places more than others. For example: spend more time in the plantations or in the Viñales Valley. It is also important to determine how long the route will last at your disposal.

At the end of February you will encounter the famous Habano Festival, celebrated every year in the Cuban capital. To guide you in your tour Infotur has a map with all the areas covered by the route.

Within your planning you can also consider including other areas of Pinar del Río not framed in the route. An example is to know the spectacular beaches located in Cayo Jutías and Cayo Levisa, within the archipelago of Los Colorados. These spaces, filled with calm, soft sand, red mangroves and crystalline waters. This is an excellent option, especially if the trip is a family trip.

Do not forget your camera and get to know Pinar del Río and its Tobacco Route. If you are looking for a local experience and the comfort of home in your accommodation do not hesitate to contact us as your choice of stay with breakfast included!

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