The Cuban Sugar Tour
A fascinating half day tour that will teach you all you need to know about an industry that is right at Cuba's heart
Most of the time when people think of Cuba, they immediately think of enormous cigars, amazing old cars that are somehow still running and the political incidents that have dotted their way through the country's history. Very few, if any, will think of sugar, even though the sugar industry has been a core part of the Cuban economy for over 200 years.
Cuba was the world's largest producer of sugar throughout the majority of the 19th century and on this four hour tour, you will learn all there is to know about this essential Cuban industry. During the course of the tour, you will visit a traditional sugar mill, taste the island's famous guarapo juice, which is produced from the sugar cane, and walk through the sugar cane fields themselves on your way to the city of Cardenas, an historical producer of Cuban sugar.
The tour begins in the Jose Smith Comas sugar mill in the central Matanzas province, where you will see a demonstration of the sugar cane cutting process undertaken by local workers - something that they still do by hand with machetes. After the demonstration, the tour makes its way past the mill's collection of old steam locomotives in order to get to your own train ride.
Your train will make its way through Cuba's stunning countryside, past banana plantations and orange groves, toward your destination in the picturesque city of Cardenas. Founded back in 1828, the town is of great historical significance to Cuba as a major exporter of sugar during the last century. Cardenas was also the scene of the very first raising of the Cuban flag in 1850 and boasts a statue of the great explorer Christopher Columbus. It's a truly magical town.
Throughout the duration of your tour, you are accompanied by a highly local experienced guide; they are on hand to let you into all the fascinating little secrets associated with the Cuban sugar industry and the part of the island that you are experiencing. It is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the historic side of Cuba and see part of the journey that the country took to become what it is today.
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