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Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

Vancouver, Canada
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10 posts
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Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

Hello,

I will be going to CSM later this month, this is my first time going to Cayo Santa Mario! I am very excited. We are staying at Playa. I have been reviewing this forum for the past 2 hours and I have most of my questions answered.

I just have several more that I am unsure of:

Cigar shopping:

I need to help a friend to get some cigars. For those who have stayed at Playa Cayo Santa Maria, is there a good selection and is the price fair? Do we need to bargain for price or it is fixed? (we don't want to go outside of the hotel on our own to shop for cigars if possible since we are quite clueless...)

What are some recommendation brand / price for the cigars?

Local Excursions:

Recommendation? Any snorkeling trips? Price?

Things to watch out for:

I learned to exchange CUC at the airport/hotel; Have 25 CUC ready for departure; tip appropriately; bring bug repellent;

Any other things I should be aware of?

Thank you for helping!!!! =)

Toronto, Ontario
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1. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

Definitely bring bug spray. Some people attract them more than others. There is a nice humidor in the cigar lounge at the hotel, but I am not sure of the prices. I thought someone had posted earlier that they were comparable to the store at the pueblo. Romeo y Juliette, Montecristo, or Cohiba are a couple of the brands. Depends how much your friend wants to spend. Cohibas are the more expensive. I have allways brought home Montecristo No5 for friends. You won't be able to bargain on cigar prices. They are pretty much set. If this is incorrect, one of the cigar pros will correct me on this.

There is a catamaran tour that stops for snorkling. I haven't done it myself, but know a few who have and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Here is a link with excursion descriptions. http://www.cayosantamaria.info/excursions. Note that the catamaran was also available for a half day when I was there in October. If you have time the Santa Clara, Remedios, Caibarien day trip is a good one. You see alot of history.

Don't miss the pig roast! The magic show on Friday evenings was really good. Coffee in snack bar or lobby is best. There is an a la carte menu at lunch in the ranchon. They do not always give you a menu, so ask for one.

Have a great time!

Oshawa, Canada
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808 posts
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2. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

For cigars, go to the LCDH for the best prices. They are located in Pueblo de Estralla. Great flea market there too.

Cornwall, Canada
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136 posts
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3. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

Agree with jadedlucifer, buy from LCDH @ Pueblo, or if you do a day trip, you may stop at another shop. When we went to Santa Clara on a day trip, we stopped at a store that sold rum and cigars, selection was decent there. You may be approached by some people that claim to have a relative that works at a factory, and these would be cheaper, but personally, I would stay away from these.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

Depending how adventurous you wanna be - we always rent scooters and head to the local town past the check-point and buy our cigars and booze there. There is a shop not far from the gas station in the town which sells everything super cheap.

Consett, United...
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5. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

That ride is over 55 ks ,each way.

it goes over the very busy,often windy causeway.

This is for VERY competent and experianced riders.

But hey ,make sure you have good insurence to either return you or your body home.

Just giving the other side of the coin info here.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

Hola

returned sunday from MCSM, once again I drove, and once again I saw people who had no clue how to use a scooter. Plus a huge downpour on the causeway did not help .

No LCDH shops in caibarien the first town or remedios the second town, camajuani does have a shop at the cigar factory which is open only for high season, the prices are the Real Prices, not the high price on the cayos. If your buying only a few not a big deal.

Cigars now that is a problem, so many types but try romeo and julieta No 2 these are in tubes, will cost you over 5 cuc's at the pueblo good for a gift. At the airport 3.90 but the airport does not have humidors.partagas serie d no 4 much stronger and a robustos(a wider cigar) in tubes, Hoyo de monterrey espicure no 2 also in tubes, a great cigar anywhere and anytime. If your in the towns, and see some tiendas with cigars for sale they would be in a white bag with the name of Roloba, where you get 25 for 1 cuc...these are for the cuban people and not for export, if you buy some put them in your checked luggage, if found they will be taken away. Also these sticks are not the best to give to a good friend, some are well ok, but really if you friend likes cigars I would not only get them, buy a proper cuban cigar. IMO

Hope this helps.

cheers.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

divaGateshead - So true - I don't recommend anyone who does not know how to drive a scooter well to do this. We've done this day trip 16 times now and have saved a lot of money by buying our cigars and rum just off the causeway. Each trip the locals actually remember us and look forward to seeing us which is nice touch and exciting. Basically, our trip gets paid for by doing this! Fingers crossed we've never had an issue but in October we ran into a lady and her husband who rented scooters and the lady ended up breaking her leg in three places. Granted this woman was not qualified at all to have been on one of these. If you do not have a motorcycle licence and experience on a scooter DO NOT RENT - use your brain, and like anywhere in the world DRIVE SAFE and SMART!

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595 posts
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8. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

DrCactus, please explain where exactly do you buy the cheap rum and cigars just off the causeway? If you have done this trip 16 times (by scooter) then you will be able to describe where to go - I am interested.

Thank you

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9. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

PS Dr Cactus,

When this Lady broke her leg in three places - was it Caibarien, Remedios and Camajani?

Just asking

Toronto Canada
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10. Re: Cigars Shopping / Local Excursions / Things to watch out for

LOL Chipmunk , , keep it up and the Doc wont give us his secrets where to get the cheap priced booze and cigars , Wonder if the lady drove her scooter back with the broken leg ?