Cuba's tourism sector, full of options linked to nature, history and culture, adds a new offer dedicated to the emblematic Cuban cigars, which are considered the best in the world.
The well-earned fame of that product paves the way to the traditional Havana Cigars International Festivals, which are an excellent choice for cigar aficionados.
That kind of event has gained ground since the reconstruction of the so-called Espigón de Paula, where the historic Almacén del Tabaco y la Madera is located, in Old Havana, and where several of the Festival's activities are held.
Every year during the Festival, new vitolas of the world-renowned brands Cohíba, Montecristo, Partagás, Hoyo de Monterrey and H. Upmann, among others, are launched.
According to history, the Spanish Crown approved the cultivation of tobacco by virtue of a royal certificate in 1614 and took control of the monopoly of its commercialization in 1740, when the Real Compañía de Comercio de La Habana was founded, thus creating one of the first and most important industries in Cuba.
Although tobacco is cultivated in almost all Cuban provinces, the best lands for that activity are on the western province of Pinar del Rio, especially in the zone of Vueltabajo, where the world's best tobacco is cultivated.
A perfect combination of soils, climate and humidity result in a product that has been described as exclusive in the world by cigar aficionados, due to its aroma, color, texture and flavor, all of which must be taken into account when rolling the famous Havana cigars, which are highly demanded by select clients.
Pinar del Rio supplies almost all the leaves used in the cigars' wraps after they go through nearly 190 operations that can last more than one year before being hand rolled.
Cuba's cigar industry satisfies the most demanding clients with nearly 40 high-quality brands and more than 700 vitolas.
For hand rollers, making a cigar is part of a process that starts when the leaves are chosen by their size and class and according to the specific characteristics of each cigar or vitola, and ends as a work of art.
According to experts, the secret of a good cigar lies on a perfect mixture, where leaves are combined in the right proportion.
For their preservation, specialized cabinetmakers used select timber to make humidors, where the cigars are protected from changes in the environment and keep their aroma and flavor, so they become a treasure for their owners.
Cuban cigars, which have a five-century-old history, confirm their condition as "the best in the world" and are highly demanded all over the world.