Nicaragua Cigar Factory Tour 2014


A trip to Nicaragua in February 2014 to tour some of the very best cigar factories! We have selected Colin Ganley as our guide. He’s the senior editor of Cigar Journal and he led a trip in 2012 that our Brother of the Leaf, Mark "Rotorhead" Hansen, participated in and greatly enjoyed. As such, Mark highly recommends Colin especially for his ability to get his groups quality face time with factory owners and access that the usual tourists just don’t get.


  • Colin’s website: Cigar Tourism
  • When: Sunday, Feb 2 – Saturday, Feb 8, 2014
  • Air Travel:
    • Miami or Houston to Managua, Nicaragua (Sun, Feb 2)
    • Managua, Nicaragua to Miami or Houston (Sat, Feb 8)
  • Cost: Approx. $2,000
    • $1,399 for Nicaragua expenses (includes everything except one lunch, shopping, and alcoholic drinks)
    • $600 for airfare to and from Nicaragua
  • Size of our group: 13 – 15 comprised of people we know
  • Deposit: $500
  • Balance of $899 due to Cigar Tourism by: Dec 15, 2013 by check, bank transfer, or credit card via PayPal (3% additional fee for credit card payments)
  • Cigars: There are very few cigars for sale in Nicaragua due to export restrictions except for what is in the duty free shops. We can bring 100 cigars tax free back into the US and we will receive quite a few complimentary sticks from our tours. Mark Hansen recommends bringing a sizable travel humidor for safe transport.
  • Passport: Please pull yours out now and make sure it is up to date.


  1. Mark Hansen
  2. Scott Bruce Duncan
  3. Ray Peters
  4. Marta Peters
  5. Nathan Hayes
  6. Moomi Hayes
  7. Jeremy Palenchar
  8. Marco Etheridge
  9. Robert Hankemeier
  10. Haidyn Palenchar
  11. Michael Riley
  12. Kimberly Riley
  13. Demetrios Barbalios
  14. Myung Hong
  15. Michael Prendergast

What’s New:


Mark Prendergast just sent in a link to a superb interview on with Pete Johnson, the owner and blender behind Tatuaje Cigars. We will be visiting the My Family Cigars factory where most of Pete’s cigars are made. This article delves into how both Pete and the Garcia family got started with Pete being their very first customer when they opened for business in Miami upon emigrating from Cuba. So light one up, pour that drink and enjoy!


Mark Hansen found pictures of the Hotel Los Arcos where we will be staying in Esteli including the rooftop patio where I am so looking forward to those evening herfs with all of you guys.

Some of us attended a San Lotano cigar event today at the Lit Lounge in the Snoqualmie Casino which are made in the AJ Fernandez factory in Esteli, one of the destinations on our tour. Here is a video tour of the factory with AJ himself, the master blender behind these world class cigars. Enjoy!


Jeremy found this marvelous article from 2003 titled "Nicaragua’s Tobacco Trail" that covers everything from the rich, black dirt, the tobacco growing regions, the history and the infusion of Cuban talent to the many factories, most of which we are going to visit. I recommend lighting up a cigar and puffing away while reading. Thanks, Jeremy!


Trip homework: For those of us who would like to be able to ask informed questions about the cigar manufacturing process and its impact on flavor: pour yourself a refreshing beverage, light up a cigar and start reading. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find pictures from Mark Hansen’s 2012 journey as a compliment to these articles and a preview to our trip:

  1. A Wrapper’s Contribution to Cigar Flavor – Part 1: Cigar Geometry; Saturday, January 01 2011
  2. A Wrapper’s Contribution to Cigar Flavor: Part 2: Tobacco Varietals, Leaf Placement and the Art of Blending; Thursday, February 03 2011
  3. A Cigar Tasting Seminar with José Blanco: Saturday, 02 July 2011:
  4. A Wrapper’s Contribution to Cigar Flavor: Part 3: A Wrapper Experiment; Saturday, 16 February 2013


Our cigar factory wish list:

  1. A.J. Fernandez (Home of San Lotano)
  2. Tabacos Cubanica S.A. (Padron)
  3. My Father Cigars (Home of the Garcia Family & where most of the Tatuaje cigars are made)
  4. Tabacalera Oliva S.A. (O, G, V, Master Blend, Cain, Nub)
  5. Tabacalera Perdomo
  6. Tabacalera Esteli (Berger & Argenti)
  7. Nica Habanos (Torano)
  8. Plasencia


In order to express how one might feel if they choose not to accompany us on this remarkable adventure, we have chosen this particular passage from Shakespeare’s King Henry V:

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that smokes his cigar with us shall be our brother; be he ne’er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition: and gentlemen in Seattle now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that smoked with us here in Nicaragua.

— William Shakespeare » King Henry V » Act 4. Scene III

2 thoughts on “Nicaragua Cigar Factory Tour 2014

    1. sbduncan

      I think if we are seeking a custom cigar making experience as described in the articles I added last night and by you in 2012, Plasencia needs to be on the list, Brother Mark. */:-)


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