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Cuban cigars in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Cigars in Puerto Vallarta

 

Here in Puerto Vallarta you will find a fine selection of cigars (called "puros" here), made in Mexico from Mexican, Nicaraguan, Dominican, Honduran, and Cuban tobaccos.

Generally speaking, Mexican cigars are cheaper and milder, but flavourful and very aromatic, when compared to Cuban or Central American cigars. They are definitely an excellent buy!

You can also enjoy real Cuban cigars here...Mexico is still friends with Cuba. If you're returning to the United States, however, you can NOT bring them back with you, under penalty of SEVERE fines. NOTE: This also applies to residents of Canada and other countries if you are even merely changing planes in the United States on your way home!

In the not-too-distant past, Mexican cigar companies were required by law to only use Mexican tobacco in their cigars. The result of this law was that most Mexican cigars were full-bodied, but had little complexity. Well, luckily for the cigar companies (and cigar smokers), that law has changed and the taste of many Mexican cigars did as well.

The best cigars in Mexico are made from tobacco grown up in the mountains of Veracruz state; due to the closeness to the Gulf of Mexico and prevailing winds, the "Tuxtlas" region enjoys a mild and humid climate, where tobacco reaches high quality and concentration of flavor. There are several medium-sized cigar companies in the area, giving employment to a great number of experienced cigar makers; cigar-rolling is by hand, according with tradition.

Puerto Vallarta has quite a few cigar stores where you can buy Cuban and Mexican cigars, but beware...many stores have been known to pass off cigars as Cuban which have never been anywhere near that island nation. You'll also discover that many cigar stores, especially on the Malecòn are really just time-share traps, where they hope to get you in the door for cigars and then talk you into taking a presentation. Since they have to cover the high rent, the cigars tend to be seconds or outright counterfits.

Two other issues to consider: Is the store a true humidor? A quality cigar store will have the temperature and humidity controlled to maintain perfect cigar condition. Finally, if purchasing a sealed box of Cuban cigars, make sure you are shown the watermark on the Cuban government seal under a black light. Any store that won't do that is a tip off to you that something is not quite right.

We've sorted out some of the most reliable places for your cigar purchases here.

A 'must-stop' is in Viejo Vallarta: The Vallarta Cigar Factory on Vallarta Street, in the first block south of the bridge over the Cuale River, across from the Hotel Molina de Agua.. Here you can watch as Andres rolls about 200 cigars every day, blending a variety of tobaccos for optimum flavor and smokability. Andres will be glad to make cigars to your order based on your desire for blend and size.

Vallarta Cigar Factory is also a reliable source of genuine Cuban cigars. They carry some of the most famous and popular names in Cuban smokes such as Cohiba, Romeo and Juliet, Punch, and more. Even the occasional cigar smoker should take the opportunity to try a genuine Cuban to see what all the fuss is about.

If you walk a litte further south, you'll notice two cigar stores across the street from each other at the corner of Madero...BEST TO AVOID THESE, as the proprietors are unwilling to verify the quality and origin of their product.

But walk half-block south, and on the west side of the street you'll find "El Gato Gordo", a fine cicar emporium. Grant has very reasonable prices in their tiny and friendly store, and will help you find the right 'stogie' for you from their selection of Mexican and Cuban cigars like Monte Christos, Cohibas, H. Upmann, and others. They keep their cigar store properly humidity- and temperature-controlled, and Grant is a 40-year cigar smoker who can advise you on the different smoking characteristics of the different style cigars. Novice cigar smokers will enjoy Grant's brief course in "Cigar Smoking 101".

There's also a branch of the afore-mentioned Vallarta Cigar Factory just across the street from both the 'Flea Market' and the HSBC bank, just north of the Cuale River crossing of Insurgentes Street.

La Bodeguita del Medio (or "La B del M") on the Malecon at the corner of Allende Street is not only a great Cuban bar and restaurant with real Cuban music, but also a great source of genuine Cuban cigars.

 

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