Tobacco is a key element of the Dominican culture and economy, and its cigars some of the world's best.
Smoke 'em if you get 'em
Perhaps more than any place in Latin America other than Cuba, cigars are a vital part of local culture, and tobacco-growing here goes back to even before the arrival of the Spaniards. The current growing and manufacturing industry, located in and around Santiago de los Caballeros (and a bit in/around La Romana), owes much to Cuban émigrés, and in fact many local smokes are considered as good or in some cases even better than those from Cuba these days. You can visit factories like La Aurora in Santiago and Tabacalera de García in La Romana, and of course find shops stocked with dozens of local brands all over the country, as well as outlets at almost every resort. Even if you’re not an aficionado yourself, learning about Dominican cigar culture and history is a superb way of coming to understand the DR a little bit better.
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