Romeo y Julieta factory (Padre Varela e/ Desague y Peñal Verno, Centro Habana, tel 07/878-1059, CUC10). For now, all visitors are being steered to Romeo y Julieta, which until earlier this year served as a cigar-rolling school. It was previously a full-production facility (open to tours) famous for its namesake Romeo y Julieta brand of cigars. However, here’s where things get complicated, as the factory is also now rebranded (temporariliy, one assumes) as the H. Upmann factory
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José Martí International Airport (IATA: HAV, ICAO: MUHA), sometimes known by its former name Rancho-Boyeros Airport, is located 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Havana, Cuba, and is a hub for Cubana de Aviación, Aerogaviota, and Aero Caribbean, and former Latin American hub for Aeroflot Soviet Airlines. It is Cuba's main international and domestic gateway, and serves several million passengers each year.
The airport lies in the municipality of Boyeros and connects Havana with the rest of the Caribbean, North, Central and South America, Europe, and one destination in Africa. It is named in memory of patriot and poet José Martí.
In the 1960s the airport was bombed by B-26 aircraft from Brigade 2506, a CIA-sponsored group of Cuban exiles attempting to liberate Cuba from Fidel Castro. Cubans are not allowed to own aircraft or use the airport for either private or commercial flight. Only government-owned aircraft are allowed to use the facilities.
There are currently four passenger terminals in use at the airport, plus a freight terminal. Terminal 1 is used primarily for domestic flights. Terminal 2 opened in 1988, primarily for charter flights to the United States. Ten years later on April 27, 1998, the International Terminal 3 was opened by Canada's then-Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, and former Cuban president, Fidel Castro. International Terminal 3 offers many modern facilities and jetways that the former international Terminal 1 did not provide. Terminal 5 is operated by Aerocaribbean. Today, Copa Airlines is the foreign airline with most flights to the airport, operating 34 flights a week (roughly 5 daily flights) from Panama City, Panama, and Bogota, Colombia. The airport is operated by Empresa Cubana de Aeropuertos y Servicios Aeronáuticos (ECASA).
Playa Baracoa Airport
Playa Baracoa Airport (IATA: UPB, ICAO: MUPB) is a regional airport west of Havana, Cuba that serves regional flights in Cuba. It is located in the village of Playa Baracoa, part of the municipality of Caimito, Artemisa Province. The airport is an inactive Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces air base and home to Air Defense Command and VIP transport.
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REVIEW ABOUT ROMEO Y JULIETA CIGAR FACTORY CIGAR FACTORY TOURS
Cigar Factory Cuba
The H.Upmann factory is considered by many to be one of the best cigar factories in Cuba, a few would even say the very best.
The H.Upmann brand is one of the oldest, having been created by a German banker, Herman Upmann, when he opened a branch of his bank in Havana in 1840 and decided to invest in a cigar factory. That factory was built in 1844 on Amistad street no.407-409 and remained so until November 2003 when it moved to it's present address on the corner of 23rd and 14 streets in what used to be the old Partagas cigarette factory. The name of the factory has changed as well, it has been renamed the Jose Marti factory since 1961. When they first opened they started out with 80 workers, there have been times when they've had 1000 workers at one time through the years.
It's been over a year now that the Upmann factory has been operating out of the Romeo Y Julieta factory in Centro Habana while it's been under renovation. It seems that not too long after they moved into the new place, about 10 years, they've had terrible floods from water coming in through the roof. Sadly, I never got to see the old place on Amistad but I've had the fortune of visiting the new location several times before the renovations and the current one at RyJ. I remember seeing some of the same faces I saw years ago on previous visits. One thing hasn't changed, the quality of the cigars coming out of this factory are still some of the best, especially their Piramides. The Upmann factory is know to be the best for rolling the Piramide Vitola and that's why it's the only factory other that El Laguito that's been given the task to roll the Cohiba Piramide Extra. Of course there were plenty of Montecristo 520s being rolled, Upmann was the original Montecristo factory. The head of Quality Control, who gave me my tour this past November, was quite proud of the quality of the smokes leaving the factory and made sure to let me know several times. She went through the various departments and the several spots where a quality control check was done. I can understand now why Cuban cigars have been much better than the ones rolled years ago, especially from the 90's. At least I can say that about the cigars coming out of the H.Upmann factory.
Below are two sets of pictures and I've indicated the split. The ones above were taken in the new factory before the renovations and the ones below are actually in the Romeo y Julieta factory but it's the Upmann workers that are there in the fotos.
REVIEW ABOUT ROMEO Y JULIETA CIGAR FACTORY CIGAR FACTORY TOURS
One of the things I was anxious to do in Havana was to visit a cigar factory. Imagine my disappointment to discover that they close for a month from 20th December each year.
We nevertheless paid a visit to the Romeo and Juliet cigar factory shop where we discovered that we could purchase most or all of the brands made in Cuba. The best value, obviously, were the Romeo and Juliet. However, the shop manager was happy to inform me that the Cohiba Esplendidos are the best in the world and he had them for sale at a good price. This is the cigar that Fidel Castro used to smoke until he gave up the habit.
You could also purchase such items as rum and coffee at this shop, but I discovered that the coffee was about 30% more expensive than at our hotel shop. The rum cost about the same.
We purchased very good quality t-shirts here and they were about half the cost of those in the other shops and at the hotel and the quality was better.