Editors' Note: Traveling in Cigar Country

Editors' Note: Traveling in Cigar Country
Photo/David Yellen

There’s nothing quite like it—visiting a country where cigars are made. You can walk through tobacco fields and tour cigar factories, witness tobacco being harvested and cigars being rolled. You’ll never forget the alluring, sweet and earthy aroma of a room filled with aging tobacco, nor the sound of the rolling gallery as hundreds of pairs of hands turn leaves into beautiful cigars. It should have a place on every cigar lover’s bucket list.

Longtime readers are familiar with our frequent profiles of Cuba, the birthplace of the handmade cigar. But you’ve never seen anything like what awaits you in these pages—our extensive travel guide to the Dominican Republic.

Cigars have been rolled in the Dominican Republic for more than a century, and this Caribbean country has been at the forefront of handmade cigar production for years.

The Dominican Republic has some of the world’s finest golf courses, ideal weather for wintertime travel and a cigar-friendly atmosphere that’s hard to match.

Both of us have been to the Dominican Republic many, many times, and we’ve come to love our trips there. We’ve also watched this country grow and become ever more welcoming to travelers. When we first came to Santiago, the city where most Dominican cigars are made, it was rustic, with lackluster hotel rooms and few places to dine. Today, there are several exceptional restaurants, as well as better places to stay. The capital city of Santo Domingo has exceptional cigar lounges, as well as a long and storied history. Punta Cana, once a quiet city on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, has grown into a tourist mecca. And farther west, in a town called Playa Grande, the resort group Aman has crafted a property designed to coddle even the most discerning travelers to this 2,000-acre site with its emphasis on privacy. Our coverage begins on page 70.

This issue has much more to offer. The story of Tiger Woods’ unlikely comeback from injury. A primer on making superb cocktails for the holidays. The compelling final acts by some of the biggest names in the history of sports. An expert’s guide through the finest tobacco farms in Cuba. And finally, our story about one of our favorite people in the world, the legendary actor Danny DeVito, appearing on the cover of Cigar Aficionado for the second time. His story—and his attitude—are certain to bring a smile to your face.

Enjoy the issue.