The famous pleasures of Cuba in all social classes are the same!
From one who identified her grandfather by the smell of his cigar, this would bring back memories!
Whether or not you like the taste of rum (even as a flavoring, not necessarily as a beverage), you simply can’t visit Cuba without considering the fact that rum production was and still is an important part of Cuban culture and industry. The easiest way to become acquainted with this national beverage is to try the various sorts of local rums at small bars and cafes, but if you’re more interested in the history of rum rather than the taste of the drink, there is a lot you can do to learn about it in Cuba. Rum has been produced in Cuba for over four centuries, and some of the finest rums in the world are being made here.
The headquarters of Bacardi is in the Bahamas, but the original factory which opened in the 19th century, is located in Santiago de Cuba, and it proves to be a treasure trove of information when it comes to rum. Actually, the symbol of Bacardi (a bat) came about thanks to the countless bats living in the old factory’s rafters. The owners of the factory were forced to leave during the revolution, but the Cuban government used the factory to produce other domestic brands. Sadly there are no tours inside the factory, but we will pass the ancient warehouse before visiting an authentic bar near the factory for a tasting.
Like a sandwich, your stop at the Parque Cespedes will divide your experience into rum first and tobacco second, with the epicenter of Cespedes Park as a reprieve. This is the heart and soul of Santiago de Cuba, and it delivers a perfect insight into Cuban life. The romanticism of Cubans is demonstrated here through talking, hustling, flirting, guitar strumming groups who offer impromptu musical serenades. There is magic here day and night and it is truly an example of a people who found love amidst turmoil and hard work. Enjoy your stroll about the park.
It is debatable whether we heard of Cuban rum or Cuban tobacco rollers first. It hardly matters now as both products are all over the world, but what you cannot find as easily elsewhere in the world is the true passion for tobacco. Everyone is afraid of admitting any desire for this perfect accompaniment to both rum and coffee. Now enthusiasts from all over the world can come to Santiago and enjoy their own space in the Hotel Melia. Your visit will allow you some time to relax like the locals, have a dark roast local coffee or favorite rum along with a sweet smelling cigar.
- Please dress according to the weather and wear comfortable shoes.
- A rum, coffee, and cigar tasting is included in your stop at the Casa del Habano.
- Sunscreen, camera with secure strap, perhaps a hat, will protect you from the sun.
- You are traveling under a general license, 31 CFR 515.574 - Support for the Cuban People. Travelers must keep a copy of their voucher for 5 years per OFAC regulations.
- We will make arrangements for meaningful dialogue with locals throughout your day! These memories and personal interactions will last a lifetime.
- This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility. We must be notified in advance of any walking problems.
- Please note the availability of private guides in Santiago de Cuba is limited so please book in advance.
- At the conclusion of your tour you will have to return to your cruise ship. If you wish to shop or spend more time, we will extend your service by the hour after your tour. This must be done in advance as the guides commit their time.
- It is unusual to have your ship tendered in this port. In the event it is necessary, your arrival on to land will be later than planned. Your guide will be waiting for you and will help you determine the best itinerary under the circumstance. This is so rare but, as your guide will be waiting for you, there will be no adjustment to the cost.
- If you are part of a group, you will be split into smaller groups for a more enjoyable experience.
Days offered: 7 days a week