Authentic Caribbean: Partagas Cigar Factory, Havana, Cuba

At this historic landmark, you can smoke 'em if you've got 'em


Cuba is considered the birthplace of the premium cigar, and many legendary brands were created in factories located right in the capital of Havana. Among these, none are more recognized and revered than the Partagas label. The original factory, built by founder Don Jaime Partagas in 1845, is still in operation, though now owned and managed by the Cuban government. Inside, workers use traditional hand-rolling techniques to transform select aged tobaccos from the country’s Vuleta Abajo region into the distinctive smokes that are prized by cigar connoisseurs around the world.

Portions of the factory’s interior were renovated in 2012, but the distinctive neoclassical facade facing Calle Industria remains unchanged. The factory is literally across the street from Cuba’s capitol building, and any walking tour of Havana should include a stop at this historic landmark, where visitors can watch tobacco leaves being transformed into fine cigars by hand, and then shop for the finished product at the on-site store. A current trade embargo prevents the importation of Cuban cigars into the United States, but ongoing changes in policy may soon open the market.