Karedcycling

Going to CUBA in 5 days! Suggestions on CIGARS and other.

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Hello FOH, 

Recently discovered your website and forums and have been enjoying all of the information you guys bring on so many different topics!

Going to La Habana, Cuba next Tuesday March 5, 2019. Staying right there in La Habana for a whole week. Im interested in a few things while im in Cuba: good cigars, good rum and good places. Starting with my main interest, CIGARS! I've been reading on here and have concluded I want to visit Alejandro "Alex"Gonzalez Arias at the Hotel Comodoro for some custom rolled cigars, probably his canonazo or his Behike 52. Do I have to order before hand, how could I come in contact with him in these days before my trip? Or can I just go to Hotel Comodoro the day I get to La Habana and just make an order of some cigars on that day? Im open to other suggestions of custom rolled cigar makers around La Habana but have read the review and believe Alex is good and his cigars more around my feel. 

Also, I want to buy some real COHIBA in Cuba. Mi gf brought me a box of 25 Cohiba SIglo VI last November and once she came from Cuba and I inspected the box and the cigar it was obvious they were FAKE. She paid $140 por the box in one of the "Cooperativas" and it was obviously a scam because they are not legit real Cohibas. Is there really "cooperativas" that sell real cohiba cigars for cheaper prices than LCDH? Ive heard there is but don't really know. Where in La Habana could I buy real Cohibas for a reasonable price if not in LCDH? Im fairly new to the scene so sorry for the questions.

Regarding places to go out night, enjoy some rum and good music and people. Any suggestions in close proximity to Hotel Nacional or any other area in La Habana worth visiting during the nights to have fun?

 

Thanks for any suggestions and any replies! Will post on my experiences after I come back from CUBA!

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Sorry! Just made the introduction on the newbie forum! Thanks for the heads ups.

 

Also, I've read that Cuba travel subforum but haven't found some of the information im looking for like recommendations on contacting Alex or is it better to just go to Hotel Comodoro once im in La Habana. Sorry about taking up space with the questions!

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Alex can be contacted via Facebook, search for Alejandro Glez.

As for where you can get Cohibas, I wouldn't buy anywhere except an LCDH, unless you want some nice fakes. To be honest, I wouldn't buy any regular productions cigars, but that is just me.

As for places to go to eat or drink, there are so many; La Terrazza (Prado 309), Santy's, El Floridita, El Tocororo, Don Cangrejo, Fabrica de Arte Cubano, El Sauce, Espacios etc. It just depends Are you going on your own? With a partner or friends? .

 

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Im going with my Dad. He visited Cuba during the 1990's and has wanted to visit Cuba again for many years. Finally going but this time with me. He loves cigars as well and is what I would considera as a "cool dad", he usually goes out with me and my friends to places so its like another friend pretty lol.

Interesting on the regular production aspect. I cant say I've had any limited production cigars lately that I can remember. What would be good Cohibas or Montecristo that are not "regular production cigars" that I can buy in La Habana vs some regular production cigars I can buy?

Im really interested in buying 1-5 old classic aged cigars from the 1950-1980 Cohiba or Montecristo. Is there any of them available on LCDH or is this almost impossible to buy a cigar that old and aged?

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All of your questions are answered about Cuba in the Cuba Travel Forum. As far as ELs, you'll have to ask around. You should be able to find some left. It depends if they decide to release the rest of the '18 ELs. The '19s won't be available for awhile. I would stick with reg prod. Check out the LCDH cigars as well, one of the best values in Havana. The RAS, Libertador, etc.

As far as aged cigars, wait until the FOH auctions start up, but do not expect them to be cheap. If you want pre embargo, you're going to pay thousands most likely. It's impossible to find cigars more than a few years old at any of the LCDH in Cuba. They do not hold them. Other LCDH around the world? Yes absolutely, might find some 15-20 yr old boxes. Beyond that, an auction is your best bet.

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5 hours ago, Karedcycling said:

Maybe some pre-revolution or pre-embargo cigars?

Is your dad Warren Buffett? :rotfl: You have about as much chance of getting pre-embargo/revolution cigars in Cuba, as you do meeting Fidel.

What I meant by not buying regular production is, I would go for custom cigars instead. Why buy what you can get here (except for the Cuba RE), when you can put your coin on customs that you can only get in Cuba (or from somebody bringing back customs, at highly inflated prices).

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Only buy from the LCDH's and as Fuzz said, load up all you can on custom  rolls from Alex, Yolanda, and Reynaldo.  Their locations and contact info can be found in the Cuba Travel forum.  Use Jorge (contact info also found in that forum) for private driver to take you around to the various LCDH's.  You can most likely find custom roll cigar bundles in stock the day you visit each roller.  Since you're going to be there for a few days, place your order when you visit if they are out of what you want and go back and pick them up before you leave. 

Most importantly, get facturas for each and every box of regular production and get receipts from each roller for each bundle of custom rolls.  And be prepared to have any number or all of them confiscated going back through Cuban customs.  Just depends on the day and the customs agent.  I would put all or most of your purchases in your checked luggage and keep the facturas and receipts on your person when you're leaving.  Be friendly and polite to the customs agents, especially if they pull you aside for an inspection.  Smile a lot.  And pray silently.

When you get home, freeze all your cigars for a couple of days as instructed in these forums.  Do a search and you'll find plenty of instructions on how to do that.  After freezing, store them at low 60's rH for a year or so before you smoke them.  In the mean time, buy from Rob/FOH and smoke those while your custom rolls age a bit to reap full enjoyment from them.  Some may take as long as three or more years to reach their potential.

The best thing you can do to prepare for your trip is to read and study the Cuba Travel forum.  All of this info (and tons more) I've given you is in that forum.

Enjoy your trip.  You will be amazed.

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On my last trip to Havana in December, I noticed some exceptions to this.  

Except for Cohiba cigars, prices at the Cohiba Atmosphere store appear to be more expensive than in the LCDH’s.  

Also prices in the cigar lounges of the Hotel Manzana and Hotel Grand Packard are also marked up but this is not surprising as they are lounges and not cigar shops.

 

‘... Pricing on LEGIT cigars is set by the Cuban government and will not vary from storto store. ..’

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2 hours ago, Montecristo! said:

On my last trip to Havana in December, I noticed some exceptions to this.  

Except for Cohiba cigars, prices at the Cohiba Atmosphere store appear to be more expensive than in the LCDH’s.  

Also prices in the cigar lounges of the Hotel Manzana and Hotel Grand Packard are also marked up but this is not surprising as they are lounges and not cigar shops.

 

‘... Pricing on LEGIT cigars is set by the Cuban government and will not vary from storto store. ..’

The Hotel Grand Packard? They actually allow people to buy now? We couldn't even get into the humidor... probably because it was almost empty.

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On 2/28/2019 at 7:45 AM, Fuzz said:

To be honest, I wouldn't buy any regular productions cigars, but that is just me.

 

 

Why not?  Some of the prices there on regular production are so low that it makes buying regular production a no brainier, to me anyhow.  The savings alone can pay for your trip!

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29 minutes ago, Monterey said:

Why not?  Some of the prices there on regular production are so low that it makes buying regular production a no brainier, to me anyhow.  The savings alone can pay for your trip!

I guess everyone rationalizes it a different way. I think like you...oh the savings from what I bought? Yeah it "paid" for the trip hahaha

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On 2/28/2019 at 6:36 PM, stogieluver said:

Only buy from the LCDH's and as Fuzz said, load up all you can on custom  rolls from Alex, Yolanda, and Reynaldo.  Their locations and contact info can be found in the Cuba Travel forum.  Use Jorge (contact info also found in that forum) for private driver to take you around to the various LCDH's.  You can most likely find custom roll cigar bundles in stock the day you visit each roller.  Since you're going to be there for a few days, place your order when you visit if they are out of what you want and go back and pick them up before you leave. 

Most importantly, get facturas for each and every box of regular production and get receipts from each roller for each bundle of custom rolls.  And be prepared to have any number or all of them confiscated going back through Cuban customs.  Just depends on the day and the customs agent.  I would put all or most of your purchases in your checked luggage and keep the facturas and receipts on your person when you're leaving.  Be friendly and polite to the customs agents, especially if they pull you aside for an inspection.  Smile a lot.  And pray silently.

When you get home, freeze all your cigars for a couple of days as instructed in these forums.  Do a search and you'll find plenty of instructions on how to do that.  After freezing, store them at low 60's rH for a year or so before you smoke them.  In the mean time, buy from Rob/FOH and smoke those while your custom rolls age a bit to reap full enjoyment from them.  Some may take as long as three or more years to reach their potential.

The best thing you can do to prepare for your trip is to read and study the Cuba Travel forum.  All of this info (and tons more) I've given you is in that forum.

Enjoy your trip.  You will be amazed.

Do you need to keep most cigars in checked luggage and a couple of boxers in carry on with receipts for just those?

Are show all receipts to customs for the whole shebang?  Don’t want to lose any on the way out of there. 

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1 hour ago, JY0 said:

I split mine between checked bag and carryon. Get factura’s for every box, and receipts for the customs. 

I just didn’t know if you needed to show receipts for the ones that are already in your checked baggage?   

There is a limit on custom rolls, right?

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9 hours ago, Monterey said:

Why not?  Some of the prices there on regular production are so low that it makes buying regular production a no brainier, to me anyhow.  The savings alone can pay for your trip!

1. I don't flip cigars and don't see "savings" made form buying cheaper regular production as actually paying for my trip.

2. I can buy regs anywhere.

3. You can't get custom Cuban cigars, except in Cuba or if you have a mule. And they are cheaper compared to regs.

4. I have more interesting things to do in Cuba than hunt for good boxes of regs.

Considering how much it costs for an Aussie to fly to Cuba, in my personal opinion, you're better off getting customs.

 

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14 hours ago, crasmith said:

I just didn’t know if you needed to show receipts for the ones that are already in your checked baggage?   

There is a limit on custom rolls, right?

I had this same question regarding the receipt for the ones already in my checked luggage or do I need receipts for the ones in my carry on too? 

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I had this same question regarding the receipt for the ones already in my checked luggage or do I need receipts for the ones in my carry on too? 

Have receipts for all boxes. They can call you down to customs when they X-ray it and see the cigars and you’d need them then.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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12 hours ago, Fuzz said:

1. I don't flip cigars and don't see "savings" made form buying cheaper regular production as actually paying for my trip.

2. I can buy regs anywhere.

3. You can't get custom Cuban cigars, except in Cuba or if you have a mule. And they are cheaper compared to regs.

4. I have more interesting things to do in Cuba than hunt for good boxes of regs.

Considering how much it costs for an Aussie to fly to Cuba, in my personal opinion, you're better off getting customs.

 

Who said anything about flipping?  Flights from the states to Cuba is cheap.  Given we have little restrictions on how much we can bring back, getting customs AND regular productions is the best way to go.

But I totally understand those from countries that limit cigars to just 2 boxes or so.

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18 hours ago, crasmith said:

I just didn’t know if you needed to show receipts for the ones that are already in your checked baggage?   

There is a limit on custom rolls, right?

I was called down to customs on my last trip.  They had my checked bag in front of them.  I was instructed to open it in front of them.  Then they dived in making sure I had fracturas for everything.  You can have 50 customs/cigars without receipts.   However, if you check luggage and carry on luggage, you can sneak on 100.  50 for each.  They are inspected in different areas.  Carry on inspection when you go thru xray, later on in the waiting area for your checked luggage.  Just make sure to leave your carry on with someone before going into the customs room. :)

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