The Puro Sabor 2017 is the cigar festival annually held in Nicaragua. This is its the sixth year.
The organization of the Festival is made clear from the moment we land at the airport. As soon as we exit, our luggage is taken and we are invited to take a seat in the VIP area of the airport, in the mean time the personal takes care of all the bureaucracy related to the visa and passport control. This way, instead of waiting in line to get the ok to enter Nicaragua, we toasted with a Flor de Caña 12 años, the most known rum produced in Nicaragua.
As soon as the bureaucratic procedure is taken care of, we exited the airport. The president of Mombacho Cigars, Claudio Sgroi, was waiting for us, with a big welcoming smile on his face.
It’s time to start the car and light up the first cigar. After our arrival in Granada we eat together and make an appointment for the next day, for a visit to the factory (the special on Casa Favilli will be publishes in the upcoming days).
The Festival takes place for a full week, from Monday to Friday, thought the first day is free and gives the possibility to walk around in peace in one of the nicest cities in Nicaragua: Granada.
At the hotel check in, other then getting the keys for our rooms and a welcome, we get an orange bracelet and a backpack. Curiosity wins and as soon as we get into our rooms we start to inspect the backpacks, in which we find a vast amount of gadgets, and the thing that is able to put a smile on any aficionado: a box of 32 cigars, containing the most prestigious Nicaraguan brands.
From the second day on, the real Festival begins. It is planned to completely fill every remaining day and fundamentally consists of two parts.
The first part, other then the free Monday, is another day in Granada, with the Festival organization starting on Tuesday. Right after breakfast we head out to visit to Las Isletas, which are the over 360 islands formed after the last eruption of the Mombacho volcano, in 1570.
Later in the morning we then travel to the Mombacho volcano. Here it is possible to choose between different activities: a zip lining tour, a tour that explained the production process of coffee (Cafè Las Flores) and an excursion to the Mombacho volcano.
We decide to go for the coffee plantation tour at first.
Then it is Mombacho volcano time.
In the afternoon two different activities are available, among which is a visit to the Masaya volcano, where you could look at the famous lava lake, or a tour of the Mombacho factory.
During the entirety of the first day, as well as in all the following days, a myriad of so called “Momento Puro”, moments where cigars where handed out to smoke during the event, followed the other.
In the evening we move to the Polvora fortress, where the Welcome Dinner officially starts the Festival. Many producers are present and with them are also important political figures from Nicaragua, a sign of the importance that the tobacco industry has in Nicaragua.
During the dinner another five cigars were handed out, parts of which made it back with us to the hotel. Despite the utmost commitment, we never were able to pass the 5 – 6 cigars a day!