Nowadays, the tobacco industry is clouded in a haze of disapproval in many parts of the world. However not so in Nicaragua it seems. There are twenty or so tobacco factories in the Matagalpa region – its big industry and a vaulable employer of the local people. And cigar making is truly an art in this country, many steps of the complex process being a skill passed down over generations. We visited the Plasencia cigar factory, located just 15 minutes outside the merchant town of Estelli. Wonderful tour given by a member of the owning family, detailing every step of the process from the pressing and aging of the leaves to the wrapping and boxing of the cigars ready for retail. And they are organic too, the only officially certified organic cigars in the world they say! To be honest, there isnt much to see in the town itself so our advice is to pay a visit to the factory and drive on through.

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