As you travel captivating Havana during your Cuba tour, you will unpack cultural highlights through the exotic aromas of cigars, enticing flavors of rum, and dazzling live musical and dance performances.
The popularity of Havana and the beauty of Cuba have only increased since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. While the island has acted as a marvelous Caribbean getaway for citizens of Russia, Canada, and the United Kingdom for decades, citizens of the United States have recently uncovered the marvels of Old Havana.
The welcoming and outgoing nature of Habaneros, residents of the city, will accentuate the heritage as you experience the dynamic displays of culture when in Cuba.
Cuban tobacco is one of the world’s foremost tobaccos due to its distinct texture, taste, and fragrance derived from Cuba’s specific soil and climate. Cigar rolling in Cuba remains a respected profession with traditions passed down through the generations. The best cigar producers in Havana pay attention to the quality of the cigar’s different parts, from the exposure of the leaves acting as a wrapper, filler, and binder, to the functions of different components, as well as working to ensure a proper point of combustion. In cigar factories, unlit leaves fill the galleries with pungent, earthy aromas, particularly within these three iconic cultural hotspots.
1. Romeo y Julieta/H. Upmann Factory
The original factory closed in the early 2000s but reopened with a stylish new look while crafting popular Romeo y Julietas, as well as Montecristos. The factory is open to visitors with tickets who wish to see the art of Cuban cigar rolling firsthand. The efficient and clean factory hosts the city’s largest gallery complete with huge windows providing natural light for the hundreds of torcedores, cigar-rollers.
2. Partagás Factory
The classic factory has produced the Partagás brand for 175 years, including La Gloria Cubana, Ramón Allones, and Bolivar. Today, no tours are led through the “old” Partagás Factory but visitors can now witness the brand’s Cuban cigar rolling mastery from within the “new” Partagás factory around the corner from the Romeo y Julieta factory. Here, there are hundreds of rollers producing more than 20,000 cigars per day.
3. La Corona Factory
The factory has a unique ambiance, which paints a different picture of Cuba’s history connected with the former Soviet Union. Beyond the architecture, the factory continues to produce popular brands of cigars including San Cristóbal, Flor de Cano, and Cuaba. Cubicles fill a tasting room where tasters sample the different cigars to ensure quality, as well as describe the different flavors of the leaves.
1. Havana Club Añejo 7 Años
This robust and rich sipping rum aged for 7 years is a first of its kind for the popular Cuban rum-making company. It boasts a creamy profile with honeyed notes and aromas of caramel, coffee, and several spices and fruits. The long and intense finish with a very smooth palate-pleasing quality makes it perfectly enjoyable on its own.
2. Havana Club Máximo Extra Añejo
One of Cuba’s premier rums, Havana Club Máximo Extra Añejo contains hints of dark chocolate and dried fruits perfect for sipping slowly on a warm Havana night while listening to the waves crash against the Malecón. Only 1,000 bottles of the limited-edition rum are produced annually, blending the finest and oldest rum reserves within the Havana Club cellars.
3. Ron Santero Añejo 11 Años
The dark rum aged between 10 and 14 years was explicitly crafted to pair with cigars. The flavor has smoky notes reminiscent of single-malt scotch or cognac, along with hints of toasted spices, vanilla, and dark chocolate. The sweeter tastes contrast the pungent earthy flavors of the tobacco. The assertive rum has an exceptional taste perfect for sipping in the company of a rumba band filling a restaurant with an energetic and classic Cuban ambiance.
The spirit of Cuba emanates from the island’s musical culture. The roots of the classical sounds derive from influences principally from Spain and West Africa with hints stemming from countries like France, the United States, and Jamaica. The musical traditions of the country highlight the skill of Cuban musicians who perform with unique instruments, deep beliefs, and unlimited enthusiasm. There are many popular live music venues across Havana where visitors may embrace the musical styles of timba and groove to the beat of reggatón, but be sure to pop into these three iconic Cuban music venues during your travels:
1. La Zorra y El Cuervo
This multicultural live venue embraces the energy of a New York Manhattan Village-style jazz club with vintage frills and a soulful atmosphere that seduces you from within its small, dim, yet brimming with personality venue. Cuba’s best jazz performers find comfort under the club’s warm spotlight and youthful freestyle jazz talents make their way here to show off their new takes on the classic genre.
2. Casa de la Música Miramar
Casa de la Música Miramar is one of those venues that will blow you away from the minute you walk into its grand live music hall. Famous for hosting one Cuban musical legend per week, you are bound to enjoy the best of Cuban song and dance no matter when you travel to the exuberant streets of Havana. Curated within an old Cuban mansion, Casa de la Música Miramar delivers sophistication for travelers seeking the finest taste of Cuban musical culture.
3. Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC)
If you are keen on discovering the music currently in fashion with Habaneros, the Fabrica de Arte Cuban (FAC) blends contemporary art and culture in a space dedicated to celebrating Cuban tradition. The multi-floored venue encompasses a defunct oil factory serving as an art gallery, dance club, concert hall, and theater space. Hip Habaneros flock to the exciting ambiance of the factory on weekends to experience a range of performers, from jazz guitarists to expressions of visual arts.
Are you intrigued to discover what makes Cuban cigars special? Do you long for a satisfying sip of authentically aged Cuban rum? Are you wanting to dance the night away to Cuban musical performances in one of Havana’s best live venues? Tour the best of Havana and embrace the Cuban culture on our Cuba Tours and Vacations. Plan to book your trip today? Want to learn more about Cuba and its highlights? Complete a Trip Request or call us on 1-888-265-9707 to chat with a Cuban travel specialist.