Panama Caribbean Tobacco Company

The other day I was in Bugaba/Concepcion and I visited the Panama Caribbean Tobacco Company.

I had met David Reynaga at the David Wednesday Market and I thought it might be interesting to tour the facility.

David had called ahead and they were expecting me and ready to provide the tour. My understanding is that all of the tobacco is grown close to Bugaba.

We started at the back of the building where tobacco was in various stages of aging. This was recent tobacco.

Before it is processed the tobacco must cure for a year. This is tobacco that has aged longer.

We then went to the shop area where the cigars are assembled. This individual is sorting the tobacco in to different quality grades.

This individual is building one type of cigar. This one uses a machine to roll the cigar. They are then placed in the wooden tray to trim.

This station is building a different cigar and they are entirely hand rolled.

Here are a row of another type of cigar that have been processed.

We then went to some storage areas. I understood that the cigars cure longer here.

Here is another room with cigars that are ready to ship. The company exports through out Latin America.

We then went to the final area that has cigars that can be purchased. I took a photo of one of the boxes. Note that it says “Long Filler Havana Seed”.

That concludes the tour. I have included a short video showing hoe to drive to the company if you are in Bugaba.

Call 6538-3042 For more information.

28 thoughts on “Panama Caribbean Tobacco Company

  1. Very nice, Don. I’ve been smoking David’s cigars for the past six weeks and enjoy them very much. In fact, in the last six weeks I’ve only smoked ONE cigarette and until I found the cigars I was into cigarettes about a pack and a half a day. At least with the cigars I’m not taking toxic gases into my lungs.

    I’ve spent several hours talking to David and his right-hand man Jose over the past six weeks and visited the factory last Friday. MUCH of the tobacco is grown here in Chiriqui but he also imports quite a lot from Nicaragua and a lot of the wrapper leaf is grown in the Connecticut valley of the State of the same name and western Massachusetts.

    The cigars are made of up three different kinds of tobacco: filler, binder and wrapper. The filler can be long-cut, short cut or a combination of both. The latter will say “sandwich” on the band. Binder is rolled around the filler and then the wrapper leaf goes on top of that. Each kind of tobacco has a different flavor and the quantities of each determine the strength of the cigar as well as its flavor. The Connecticut leaf is used exclusively as a wrapper.

    As far as I know this is the ONLY place in Panama manufacturing cigars. When I was at the factory last week two other people came to purchase the cigars because it’s the only place around here where you can buy them unless you go to the market day in Boquete or out at the Chiriqui Mall.

  2. Excellent Photo’s and a very interesting post. Enjoy the simple pleasures. Nothing like a good handrolled cigar.

  3. Don, very nice piece on the Caribbean Tobacco Company. I met David when I was in Boquete, this past Jan-Ap at the TMM. I bought a few cigars from him and then returned each week to get more. I have since returned to the States, but I have been buying bundles from the company, who have a rep (David’s Dad) in Florida and they ship anywhere in the States. They also sell premium Sitton coffee (French roast is their best) for a nice price ($4.50/12 oz). Anyway, now when I am away from Panama for a few months, I can still get all the pleasures (at least cafe’ and Puros) that make life in Panama truly enjoyable. If I could only get Flor de Cana for the same price we can at the Frontera….I guess 2 of three isn’t too bad. (I do buy Flor de Cana rum here in Wis. but pay $23/750 ml; at the border it’s $12/ litre).

  4. There is one other much smaller factory in the area that makes and sells cigars (cheaper) but it is much more difficult to locate. Richard, I hope you don’t smoke as much cigar as you did cigarettes because, being a former hygienist I have seen mouth cancer in cigar smokers so you are not off the hook because you are not sucking the toxic gases into your lungs

  5. Tobacco is grown all over Bugaba, maily in Sortova. Grupo Navir in Sortova export large amount of tobacco to Hondura and Nicaragua and also makes small amount of cigars for export. They are located in the center of the village in Sortavo and is owned by Mr. Virgilio


  6. Joyas de Panama and tobacoscosta have both closed. Currently our Company Flor de Camejo produced high quality hand made cigars here in Santiago Panama. Our cigars filler and binder are made from long leaf Panamanian and Nicaraguan tobacco grown from Cuban seed, and with a Colorado colored rapper shade grown in Ecuador from Habana 2000 seed. We are located on the Avenida Central about 100 meters from the Pan Americana highway here in Santiago.

    The cigar making operation is supervised my Miguel Angel Camejo, a Cuban national with more than 35 years working in the Cuban cigar industry, having twice won the Cuban national cigar making championships.

    When passing through Santiago, take time to visit Flor de Camejo.

  7. I was wondering if you know when the tours are given. Does one need to make a reservation and is there a cost to going? As usual I couldn’t find a website for them and their FB page is for the US location and no one seems to be answering peoples questions. Thanks for any insight.

  8. I haven’t been there in a while and do not know in information in his post is still valid. If the place is still open, you could stop by anytime and I am sure they would show you around.

  9. Hi Don. Just wanted you to know that David, the manager, was awesome and we had a great tour today. Your video directions were incredibly helpful as well. The tour was free and my husband and I don’t smoke but we bought $25 worth of cigars! David says he sells his cigars at the Tuesday market in Boquete.

  10. I haven’t been to the market for a couple weeks, but David has not been there for a long time, and the cell phone number I have for David is not valid.

  11. Hello, i have been to the factory today and it is closed and rundown! I think they don’t produce there anymore! The phonenumber of David is not valid aynmore!

    It is a waste of your time! Well we went to Volcan! That was nice 🙂

  12. Hi, everyone I am a cigar aficionado and for the longest time I did not know how to get any cigars in Chiriquí. I only get some when in Panama City at Albrook mall (there 2 shops there, but it’s expensive).

    Thank you Don for this post, I called the cell phone number you had listed at the end of the post and David answered. So yes, he is producing and also selling.


  13. Does anyone know about the old abandoned tobacco works located in La Pita, Chiriquí, Panama? The plant is an enormous complex of buildings and is located next to the ruins of the Ferrocarril de Chiriqui train terminal in La Pita. One of the locals told me today that the processing plant has been closed down for at least 20 years but according to the ruins, it looks like it hasn’t been in operation for 50 or more years. I wish someone would check it out. La Pita is just a little past Alanaje.

  14. Hello Ray, My name is Wally, and i´m wondering if Panama carribean tobacco still exists now in 2017.

  15. Hello
    I writing from Bocas del Toro. I would really like to try these cigars and need some advice on how to get them. I can get a truck driver to bring me some if anyone can tell me where to get them. Thank you

  16. We found Don Juan Cigars in Penonome; it is on the east side of town and the south side of the PanAmerican Hwy. The cigar factory in Bugaba is now a feed store.

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