The official launch of “The Tobacco Route” during the course of the X edition of the International Nature Tourism Event (TURNAT in Spanish), captured both the interest and the imagination of tour operators and travel agents.

The official launch of “The Tobacco Route” during the course of the X edition of the International Nature Tourism Event (TURNAT in Spanish), captured both the interest and the imagination of tour operators and travel agents.Heading west along National Highway, the Route’s starting point is the San Juan y Martínez tobacco plantation at the 120km mark, and ends at Pinar del Rio’s own Francisco Donatién factory, home to the Vegueros brand of cigars.

It is not by chance that the Route mostly traverses this part of western Cuba, because Vuelta Abajo is where the optimum conditions for tobacco harvesting can be found -- and in particular the leaves required for the skillfully crafted and delicately handmade “Habano” cigars.

The official launch of “The Tobacco Route” during the course of the X edition of the International Nature Tourism Event (TURNAT in Spanish), captured both the interest and the imagination of tour operators and travel agents.Even though this is a very longestablished agro-industry (Christopher Columbus encountered tobacco on his first visit to Cuba in 1492), this initiative represents the first tourist-oriented tour of this type.

The Route includes, among other attractions; valleys, a factory, information points and lodgings, all selected to provide insights into cultivation and selection processes and to showcase the region’s finest growers.

Plantations on the Route – involving a trip through the Valley of Viñales -- incorporate Consolación del Sur, San Juan and Martínez, and San luís which collectively form the “Vuelto Abajo Triangle”; tobacco’s own holy ground.

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