CigarPhoto is coming back from a well deserved vacation in pleasantly warm Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Although we have stayed in one of the chain hotels (Iberostar), a trip to Playa del Carmen was added to the itinerary to visit two cigar shops – La 5ta Habano (shop owned by fellow Friends Of Habanos member) and La Casa del Habano. The purpose of that visit wasn’t so much about stocking up but more about going to the store, buying a cuban cigar (legally), ordering mojito with Havana Club Anejo 7 rum and … relaxing.

I was able to accomplish exactly that at the La Casa del Habano. Between mojito sips, I was able to take few photographs and scope out price tags – scary, as expected. I was quoted $850 for a box of Trinidad Fundadores !!! Everything across the board was super overpriced and if I lived in Mexico, I wouldn’t be smoking cuban cigars unless I was paying wholesale. On the way back I stopped at the La 5ta Habano. Great, but very small, shop. Rush Blakely (the owner) has expanded his selection to include non-cubans as well. Refreshing strategy, considering every other Joe will be most likely looking for the forbidden Cohiba.

It wouldn’t be a complete trip to Caribbean region without seeing fakes cuban cigars. Your “standard” glass-top selection was readily available on the main drag. Casa Partagás was selling Siglo VI tubes for $50 each ! Iberostar hotel had a dedicated cigar lounge with decent cigar selection. Unfortunately, once again, way overpriced. I skipped their stock but couldn’t say no to unlimited and free amount of Havana Club Anejo 7 rum. Bliss ! Airport’s Duty Free wasn’t any different. I had to double check with their customer service if prices were in Mex$ or USD$. A box of Cohiba for 900 USD$ tapped it all.

Bottom line, bring your own ! If you smoke cuban cigars exclusively, bring them down as well unless you are willing to pay $25 for Monte #2.

La Casa del Habano

5ta Avenida con Calle 26 No. 301, L-2 Colonia
Xaman-Ha, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México.
Phone: 52 (984) 803 3001

La 5ta Habanos (owner: Rush Blakely)
Corner of 5th avenue (Quinta) and Constituyentes
Phone: 9841111873


- click on photographs (slideshow / EXIF)- 

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