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Cuba – Pinar del Río and Visiting a Tobacco Plant

Published: 9.9.2017
After our stay in Habana we were looking forward to travel west to Pinar del Río. We had booked accommodation and some trips at Casa Manuela, a guest house in downtown which treats you like if you were in a hotel. Food was great, rooms beautiful, many terraces with seating, and very kind staff. Through here we booked a ride from Habana. Everything went smoothly and on time. Moreover, we had probably the safest car of our entire vacation here.

Pinar del Río

The westernmost Cuban province of Pinar del Rio is famous for cigars. It is here where the most expensive and the most famous tobacco is produced. Once we get to Pinar del Rio we set off to our first trip – Finca Alejandro Robania tobacco plantation located only several kilometres from the city. Before the plantation, several Cubans were idling with cigars and there we also met our guide. During a short tour he explained to us how tobacco is grown and how cigars are produced. We even saw how cigars are rolled or how tobacco leaves are hand picked.

cesta na Finca Alejandro Robaina   cesta na Finca Alejandro Robaina

Následovala návštěva plantáže s rostlinami připravenými na sklizeň a poté jsme se dozvěděli vše o historii Finca Alejandro Robaina. Průvodce nám ukázal i album se slavnými osobnostmi, které tuto plantáž navštívily, dokonce nám pověděl plno zajímavostí o jejím zakladateli. Prohlídka stála pouhá 2 kubánská pesa (cca 50 Kč), což nás mile překvapilo. Ihned jsme se také zajímali o nákup doutníků, ale bohužel to tady není možné. Vláda tento druh prodeje zakázala a za porušení jsou poměrně velké postihy. Jen tak pro zajímavost – 90 % z celkového zisku plantáže se odvádí vládě. Ale jen co jsme opustili pozemek Finca Alejandro Robaina, pokuřující skupinka mužů nám ihned nabídla doutníky ke koupi. Rozhodně jsme neváhali a vybrali pár kousků. Tuto plantáž velmi rád navštěvoval i Ramón Castro a lze zde zakoupit přímo i jeho oblíbený doutník. Návštěva plantáže byla opravdu krásným zážitkem a lze ji rozhodně doporučit.

dospělé rostliny tabáku   ukázka balení doutníku

malé rostliny tabáku na Finca Alejandro Robaina   přebírání listů tabáku

Pinar del Río is the largest city in west Cuba. Its name comes after umbrella pine forests around it. Umbrella pines play an important role in cigar produciton for a glue is made out of them to fasten outer leaf of a cigar. Thanks to tobacco busines the city was always among the richer ones (similar to Trinidad once). This explains why there are so many beautiful arcaded villas.

vily v Pinar del Río   vily v Pinar del Río

vily v Pinar del Río

Almost everywhere on the main street, there are vendors selling water, fruits, vegetables and snacks for affordable prices. Casa Garay is one of the main tourist points of interest. Here guayabita liquor made of guave has been made since 1892. Pink guave is very typical for Cuba and often you may see it being used for smoothies or delicious marmelades. Casa Garay is free to enter. The interiors looks like some secred home factory. Nobody is paying attention to people coming through. It all seems very strange. And don't worry. You can buy the liquor here.

v ulicích Pinar del Río   v ulicích Pinar del Río

Another place worth visiting is  místem, které určitě stojí za návštěvu, je tabáková továrna z roku 1760 – Fábrica de Tabacos Francisco Donatién, a 1760 tobacco factory. The entire process of cigar production is here on display. You can even see a tobacco museum. The entrance costs 5 Cuban pesos. Hopefully you would be luckier than us because before entering it was told to us that the factory would be closed for several days.

GPS: 22°24'55.4"N 83°41'38.6"W


Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová

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