The second part of the Puro Sabor begins on wednesday morning. Right after the breakfast, it is time to go to Estelì.
It is not a short trip, with a duration of circa two and a half hours. To make the journey less boring, there are several stops, which allow people to have a cigar and a drink. It works, but at the end it takes more than three hours to get to Estelì.
Once arrived, the first stop is at the Plasencia farm, where the lunch is followed by a well done local entertainment. Just enough time to smoke a cigar and then it is time to go to the selected factories (during the registration to the Festival everybody can choose a group that visit certain factories and plantations).
We opt for the Scandinavian Tobacco Group. During the tour, Michel is even put behind the work bench, managing to roll a cigar considerably better then expected!
In the late afternoon is the check in time into the hotels and in the evening there is the first dinner in Estelì. During it almost every important personality of the Nicaraguan tobacco world is present. They take turns to talk quickly about they Festival and their own cigars, that are offered to taste during the evening.
On the fourth day, after breakfast, we leave again to visit a new factory/plantation. This time we opt for AJ Fernandez, a true giant that in the last couple of years has grown in an incredible way.
Lunch is hold at Don Pepin’s farm, followed by a comparative tasting, with two types of coffee. Later on, the the press conference take place. In the evening there is the famed White Dinner.
The fifth day provides the same routine, which is another guided visit to a new factory/plantation. Lunch is hold in AJ Fernandez’s farm.
In the evening the Festival ends with the Gala Dinner, hold at the Drew Estate factory. Over 400 people, from 27 different countries, are present. In the next morning we leave Nicaragua and we travel back to our contries. Even the transport from Estelì to Managua Airport is something the festival organization takes care of.
It should be noticed that each tour organized to a factory or a plantation offers something that goes well beyond the simple touristic walk around. You are literally engaged and you can interact with whoever is guiding the tour, which oftentimes is the manager or even the owner of the company. All this is extremely educational and each time you are able to learn something new.
The Puro Sabor features an excellent organization. All inclusive: food, hotel, trips and cigars are all in the package. No worries and all is about fun in the name of a cultural journey, capable to teach something new. Each moment is followed by an excellent cigar, that always makes things even better.
About the cigars: despite our utmost efforts to practically try everything when it was given to us, we still returned with a substantial quantity of cigars. The over 10 cigars per day that were handed out by the guides and cigar girls, results in an impressive amount!