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-   -   Want to buy cigars in Havana (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/want-to-buy-cigars-in-havana-1570245/)

jan47ete Dec 1st, 2017 05:17 PM

Want to buy cigars in Havana
 
What do I need to know when my ship stops in Havana as I want/need to buy some cigars? Cost, brand, etc. I can bring back right? Buying for others so know nothing.

suze Dec 2nd, 2017 02:42 PM

What is your home country? Where will you be bringing the cigars in thru Customs?

jan47ete Dec 3rd, 2017 07:28 AM

USA and bringing back through Miami. Thanks.

suze Dec 3rd, 2017 09:13 AM

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...g-cuban-cigars

ibobi Dec 4th, 2017 01:19 PM

You can bring back up to $1000 4 boxes (boxes can be 10 cigars or 25 cigars in most cases) DUTY FREE (you pay 4% duty on anythng over this, so technically there is no limit) plus up to 2 25-ct bundles of "custom" rolls which are the unbanded cigars rolled by the torcedors in the official La Casa Del Habanos stores.

*DO NOT* buy cigars anywhere except INSIDE the official Habanos LCDH stores. If you do, *you will be buying fake cigars*. There are no exceptions to this. There is no cousin with a hookup at the factory. There are no big discounts on legitimate Cuban cigars.

Once in the store, ask for help. Tell the salesperson your budget, and have them suggest something appropriate.

If you are buying for someone who knows cigars, they should give you a list. If you're buying for someone who just said "get me some cigars" then you ought to be ok with whatever you get. Prices in LCDH stores are the same everywhere.

Good luck!

ibobi Dec 4th, 2017 01:21 PM

...and FYI a standard box of 25 cigars, say the Partagas Serie D No. 4, which is a common robusto size, should run you about 160-170CUC, or about $190US. Maybe a tad bit more or less. If you go for something special, or something that says Cohiba on it, be prepared to pay more; the Cohiba version of that Partagas cigar sells for about 380CUC, or around $400US.

annhig Dec 4th, 2017 01:47 PM

<<There are no exceptions to this. There is no cousin with a hookup at the factory. There are no big discounts on legitimate Cuban cigars.>>

lol, iBobi, we went to a tobacco farm on the way to Vinales and after the usual tour, we bought a box of cigars from the government official who was on duty there. They were clearly marked as being official and there was lots of signing of this that and the other.

Later on our trip we were offered "cheap" cigars on several occasions, but we were able to say we already had some which was useful. On one particular tour our guide 'just happened" to bump into his friend who was the "manager" of the local cigar factory who would be able to get us some cheap cigars. We trotted out our normal excuse and after a bit of tooing and froing, they gave up.

Just say no.

ibobi Mar 23rd, 2018 10:35 AM


Originally Posted by annhig (Post 13142674)
<<There are no exceptions to this. There is no cousin with a hookup at the factory. There are no big discounts on legitimate Cuban cigars.>>

lol, iBobi, we went to a tobacco farm on the way to Vinales and after the usual tour, we bought a box of cigars from the government official who was on duty there. They were clearly marked as being official and there was lots of signing of this that and the other.

Later on our trip we were offered "cheap" cigars on several occasions, but we were able to say we already had some which was useful. On one particular tour our guide 'just happened" to bump into his friend who was the "manager" of the local cigar factory who would be able to get us some cheap cigars. We trotted out our normal excuse and after a bit of tooing and froing, they gave up.

Just say no.

I'm curious about the box from the government official. How did this purchase happen? Were the labels on the box, or were they floating around in the box, as if you would put them on yourself?

If you have a photo of the box, a close up of a cigar (including the band and the cap), and a photo of the bar code on the box with serial number, as well as the ink-stamped box code on the bottom, I'd love to see! My suspicion is you got fakes :(

annhig Mar 25th, 2018 06:47 AM

Oh ye of little faith, ibobi. They are in a box, with labels on every cigar, and a seal on the box with a bar code and serial number, and we were pretty certain that the Gov official was real as our guide was rather wary around him when we asked certain questions. We also signed a rather official looking register and got a receipt for our money. No idea what they cost us, as it's over two years ago, but my husband was very pleased with them. Sadly he only got to smoke about half a dozen as he became ill about this time last year and died last October, so whether they are fakes or not seems somewhat immaterial now.

northie Apr 10th, 2018 12:27 AM

Love your answer annhig ;)

annhig Apr 10th, 2018 01:02 AM

You might imagine that it was not the first one I drafted, Northie.

ibobi Apr 11th, 2018 01:46 PM


Originally Posted by annhig (Post 16700744)
Oh ye of little faith, ibobi. They are in a box, with labels on every cigar, and a seal on the box with a bar code and serial number, and we were pretty certain that the Gov official was real as our guide was rather wary around him when we asked certain questions. We also signed a rather official looking register and got a receipt for our money. No idea what they cost us, as it's over two years ago, but my husband was very pleased with them. Sadly he only got to smoke about half a dozen as he became ill about this time last year and died last October, so whether they are fakes or not seems somewhat immaterial now.

I hear so many stories of "my guy in cuba" and the great deal/great cigars we brought back... the fake stories are more common than the real by a factor of 10. I'm so glad your husband enjoyed them. I smoke cigars nearly every day, and know that even very seasoned smokers fall prey to the fakes on Cuba and elsewhere.

lluisalarcon Jun 23rd, 2018 07:46 AM

Hi Jan. You can bring with you 4 or 5 boxes of cigars, but in my opinion I donīt like to bring more than 2 boxes (or 50 cigars) , because this is the standard rule about tobacco in Cuba from many years ago.
In Cuba you never know !


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