Travel experiences are always heightened by a damned fine cigar in the right place at the right time
By Nick Hammond
July 6 2023
Travel experiences are always heightened by a damned fine cigar in the right place at the right time. I should know; I’ve made a career out of it.
There are the obvious cigar world hotspots. Havana is unrivalled in its capacity to bring together so many thrilling elements that make travel – and life, come to that – so rich: history, architecture, dance, music, sea, sand, and generations of magnificent cigarmaking.
Nicaragua is now the world’s largest exporter of fine, handrolled cigars, and while the city of Estelí, the country’s home of cigarmaking, is colourful and chaotic, there is so much more to see and do. You can ‘surf’ down the outside of an active volcano, for goodness’ sake!
Mexico is known among the cognoscenti for flavourful cigar tobacco; nowhere more so than the hot and fertile San Andrés valley, where I once suffered from a surfeit of Tequila while on a scorching tour of tobacco plantations. Never again.
Now we’re on a roll, did you know that cigar tobacco is grown and rolled in France? Or that many of the finest cigar wrappers in the world come from Ecuador, where the natural daily cloud cover replaces the need for the traditional ‘cheesecloth’ muslin?
All this, and much more besides, has painted a long and colourful trail of wonder that I’ve followed for the last 30 years, and which ultimately became the basis for two books. If you love cigars, the good things in life, and a healthy dose of exotic travel, you may be interested to know that the sequel is now in pre-production.