As the 16th Habanos Festival draws near, a trip to the tobacco-growing region of the western Cuban province of Pinar del Río is a must: these fields are a very special attraction, and not just for cigar lovers, but also for any traveler who is interested in this country’s history and culture. And every year, participants in the Habanos Festival— some 1,000 people from 80 countries—tour these tobacco fields and chat with growers. This year, the festival is dedicated to the Cuban cigar brands Hoyo de Monterrey, Partagás, Montecristo and Trinidad.
By Masiel Fernández Bolaños / Photos by José Tito Meriño and Garal
With the imprint of colonial times that pervades every one of its buildings and its high degree of preservation, this city might seem frozen in time. However, Trinidad, located in the heart of Cuba, enchants every visitor with its intoxicating spirit, a mixture of the enigmatic past and a captivating freshness after 500 years of existence.
“Until you climb the stairs at No. 209 Habana street, you have no idea that what you’ll find behind those doors is a treasure, crafted with the refinement of one who has an eye for the slightest detail,” said a tourist about his stay at this hostel. “The Hostal Casa Habana provides its customers with a modern environment, without losing either simplicity or elegance.”
Five hundred years after its founding, the eastern Cuban city of Bayamo bears the pride of an entire nation. Never before has the history of a small city carried so much weight in determining a country’s destiny, or merited so many names, earned with a long history of glorious and heroic events.
American swimmer Diana Nyad crossed open water by swimming the 166 miles between Havana of Florida without using a cage to protect her from sharks. On this occasion, Diana used a swimsuit to protect against jellyfish stings on previous occasions forced her to abort their dream.
Anyone interested in learning Spanish now has a new option for reaching that goal: in the south-central Cuban city of Cienfuegos, a program has been designed by the Cultural Paradiso tourism company, part of the ARTex, S.A. business group’s provincial office, with the collaborationo of the Canadian company Rondeau.