In the Cibao valley, around Moca and Santiago de Los Caballeros, close to 180 hectares are dedicated to tobacco plantations. This thriving industry, which employs 150,000 people, produces a staggering 250 million ‘premium' cigars annually. The quality is such that experts deem them able to compete with the most famous Cuban brands, and their aromas and taste tend to be less peppery than their more-celebrated rivals.
You can visit the largest cigar factory in the world at Tabacalera de Garcia, based in La Romana, where Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, Don Diego, and a host of others are manufactured for export only they are not for sale here. You'll need to head to Tabadom Holding or the Leon Jimenes factory, both in Santiago de Los Caballeros, to buy Davidoffs, AVO, and Griffin's ‘hecho a mano', which are the real thing.
Santiago de Los Caballeros
Province de Santiago