This is Cigar 101, the definitive learning vacation for all things cigar and more! For 5-days and 4-nights you’ll travel deep into the heart of the cigar region of Nicaragua following the cigar from seed to shelf while getting up-close and hands-on every step of the way. The beginning cigar lover will be guided past the hype to the truth about what makes a quality cigar from its complexities and varieties to how to choose, cut, light, and enjoy a cigar. The aficionado will experience the tour reserved for the elite of the cigar world as we open the doors of the world’s top cigar factory to the public, available only through the Blanco Roll’n’Smoke Tour. If you talk cigars but haven’t been on this tour, then you’re just blowing smoke!
Managua is the capital and largest city of Nicaragua and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Managua, it has an estimated population 1,042,641 in 2016 within the city’s administrative limits and a population of 1,401,687 in the metropolitan area, which additionally includes the municipalities of Ciudad Sandino, El Crucero, Nindirí, Ticuantepe and Tipitapa. The city was declared the national capital in 1852.
Previously, the capital alternated between the cities of León and Granada. The 1972 Nicaragua earthquake and years of civil war in the 1980s severely disrupted and stunted Managua’s growth. It was not until the mid-1990s that Managua began to see a resurgence.
Managua’s population is composed predominantly of mestizos and whites who are mainly of Spanish descent, with a minority being of French, Jewish Nicaraguan, German Nicaraguan, Italian, Russian, Greek and Turkish descent.
Granada is a city in western Nicaragua with an estimated population of 123,697 (2012), it is Nicaragua’s sixth most populous city. Granada is historically one of Nicaragua’s most important cities, economically and politically. It has a rich colonial heritage, seen in its architecture and structure. In 1524, the city was renamed Granada, by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, ostensibly the first European city in mainland America. Unlike other cities that claim the same distinction, the city of Granada was not only the settlement of the conquest, but also a city registered in official records of the Crown of Aragon, and the Kingdom of Castile in Spain.
Estelí, officially Villa de San Antonio de Pavia de Estelí is the third largest city in Nicaragua, an active commercial center in the north and is known as “the Diamond of the Segovia”.
Located on the Pan-American Highway, 150 km north of Managua, Estelí is a fast-growing and progressive city of about 119,000 people. It enjoys a pleasant climate throughout most of the year due to its location in the north central highlands at a mean elevation of 844 m (2769 ft) above sea level. The city is also surrounded by forested mountains of pines, oaks, and walnuts, and plateaus that go up to 1600 m above sea level, some of which are protected as natural reserves.
Surrounded by mountains, Estelí gives the impression of a small agricultural town famous for its quality leather and beef, where a cowboy on horseback moving cattle down the streets is commonplace, and the people are hardworking and friendly. But a look at the names on some of the buildings tells the town’s secret. Home to dozens of cigar factories, Estelí is at the apex of the cigar world. In the heart of the city is a comfortable boutique hotel where you will be staying for the next number of nights. You will have a quick minute to check-in before re-boarding the Bus and heading out for lunch. No cigar tour would be authentic if you weren’t enjoying a top notch “stick” while you did it, so as the bus gets rolling we’ll get our selection of Blanco Cigars. In cigar country, smoking is not only permitted, it’s encouraged, so enjoy!
León is the second largest city in Nicaragua, after Managua. It was founded by the Spanish as Santiago de los Caballeros de León and as of 2016, the municipality of León had an projected population of 206,264.
León is located along the Río Chiquito (Chiquito River), some 90 kilometres (56 miles) northwest of Managua, and some 18 km (11 miles) east of the Pacific Ocean coast. León has long been the political and intellectual center of the nation and its National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) was founded in 1813, making it the second oldest university in Central America. León is also an important industrial, agricultural, and commercial center for Nicaragua, exporting sugar cane, cattle, peanut, plantain, and sorghum. The city has been home to many of Nicaragua’s most noteworthy poets including Rubén Darío, Alfonso Cortés and Salomón de la Selva.
Chinandega is Nicaragua’s fifth largest city, with a population of 134,720 inhabitants (2015), and a total of 151,000 in the greater municipality area. It is located about 134 kilometres (83 mi) northwest of Managua and about 72 kilometres (45 mi) southwest of El Guasaule, on the border with Honduras. Chinandega is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the Pacific Ocean. The region around Chinandega produces agricultural products, particularly oil, flour, peanuts, shrimp, and sugarcane, and distilled liquors. The city’s weather is warm and humid due to its location at a low altitude in the tropics.
Las Peñitas is a fishing village and beach community on the North Western coast of Nicaragua. It lies within the León, Nicaragua municipality and is next to Poneloya, Nicaragua. It is becoming a more and more popular tourist destination and has recently (2009) received a new road courtesy of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. foreign aid agency created by the U.S. Congress in 2004 to disburse the war reparation settlement won by Nicaragua at the World Court in the Hague. Next to Las Peñitas is the Nature Reserve of Isla Juan Venado popular with visitors for the wildlife and turtle migrations. Some other attractions in the area include volcano boarding at nearby Cerro Negro volcano, boat trips into the nature reserve, and surf lessons. During certain times of the year, one can visit the turtle hatchery on Isla Juan Venado to witness live sea turtle hatching.
Touring these areas you will get a sense of the cultural practices and norms as well as partake in activities that will provide you with a new understanding of what it means to be from Nicaragua and experiences you will remember the rest of your life. The food and drink offer a different sensation of flavor and depth of complexity which most people thoroughly enjoy. We would like some things to remain a surprise so we won’t spoil them by explaining them here but rest assured, you will always have plenty to do and see!
We hope that you can join us for an experience of a lifetime and would like you to remember that tour groups are generally only 10 guests and seats are available on a first come first serve basis. Dates and costs are announced through our corporate offices so for further inquiries feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.