Rum Tasting and Rummery Tour
Gringo Tours has some Great News!
In June of 2023, we were invited to the massive event at the Cihuatan distillery outside of Aguilares for a sample tour, which will now open to the public with similar restrictions as in the past. It looks like there will be two types of tours available, a standard but very complete tour and a VIP version where a few times a month the Master Blender Gabriela Ayala will give part of the tour in person. I have had the privilege to do a tour or two with her in the past and her knowledge and passion she shares with those fortunate enough to get into these limited tour spots making the Cihuatan Rum tour experience one of the best in the world.
At Gringo Tours, we will add our experience in logistics and make the tour multilingual with our English, French and Italian speaking guides and partners offering only the highest level and comfort in transportation.
As in the past there is a minimum group size of five required but now the maximum group size is fifteen. Reservations, prepayment and copies of photo IDs for all participants are still required, but we still have much more good news!
The tours are now available from Monday through Saturdays! Scheduled when reserved, only at 9:30 am and now finish around noon. The new Discovery tour is much more complete, and we will see how sugar cane with love, care and time becomes rum and in this case, El Salvador´s only true rum. The VIP experience will add Gabriela expertise explanation of how the sugar cane productions, fermentation, distillery process, solera ageing and blending make Ron Cihuatan, El Salvador finest rums.
Tour Description and History
Gringo Tours is proud to present one of our most exclusive tours. Join us on this limited edition, small group tour of El Salvador’s first Rum distillery. The Ron Cihuatán distillery is located just 45 minutes from Suchitoto and about 1 hour from San Salvador. In 2018 Cihuatan opened its doors to Gringo Tours allowing us to share this rum tasting and production adventure with travelers from around the world. Now in 2023 the tour is open to the public but Gringo Tours makes the experience all the more worthwhile and takes the hassle out of reserving directly. Because we will be visiting a working distillery (solera ageing, blending and bottling areas), the tour is offered only once a day from Monday through Saturdays but can be unavailable depending on the actual production schedule making it requirement to reserve tours with at least one week in advance.
This tour is now open to the public (in Spanish) but can be coordinated by Gringo Tours owner Robert Broz and the Team at Ron Cihuatán. The Discovery Tour (basic group option) is done by young Roberto Escobar who will take us throught the process from field to the solera wharehouses where sampling of the raw distilled alcohols as well as samples from different solera barrels will help fully understand the complexity of fine solera rum blending. A VIP tour when available is provided by Gabriela Ayala the master Rum maker, who will join the tour explaining how she developed each of the Cihuatán Rums.
The tour continues in the bottling area where tasting of rums produced at Cihuatan. Tourists will be able to purchase any of the rums available at the new Rum Shop and at a better price than anywhere else! The tour concludes with a short class in mixology and a surprise gift for each paying participant.
The tour does not include the actual distillery where the alcohol is made, as it is an industrial plant within the La Cabaña sugar refinery. Our guide will tell you all you want to know about the sugar cane production and processing as we drive from the city or Suchitoto.
To schedule tours of the Cihuatán distillery we need a minimum of five workdays, this to coordinate with the distillery and insure the quality tour that both Cihuatán and Gringo Tours always tries to provide to our clients from around the world. For security reasons at the Cabañas processing plant we are also required to present a list of our clients’ full names as well as provide digital copies of their passports or IDs as well as vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers.
Since August 2018, we have been offering these exclusive tours which we hope to continue making available to our clients in the future and as the demand increases. All of our past clients have said that this is the best rum tour they have ever experienced! If interested, please let us know as soon as you have your available dates so that we can make arrangements for you or your group to enjoy this unique and wonderful experience. The tour of Ron Cihuatán’s production area (solera ageing and blending and bottling) will include tasting of different Salvadoran rums exclusive to Ron Cihuatán, each with its own distinct flavors and character. As we are enjoying the sample tastings, we will learn about the solera technique of ageing and blending before visiting the blending and bottling plant where we will have a taste of the final, ready to bottle Ron Cihuatán.
Gringo Tours is offering different options with tours departing from Suchitoto or San Salvador and with group size from 5 to 15 persons. Although we know this tour will be popular, we do need maintain a minimum group size of 5 (price per person can be adjusted up for smaller group tours. )
Option #1 Suchitoto
Starting and finishing in Suchitoto, Visiting Ron Cihuatán distillery has a cost of $50/person (minimum cost for groups less than 5 of $250/group), this includes as mentioned before transportation in a morden van with AC to and from the distillery from Suchitoto, a certified and bilingual guide, a bottle of water and a surprise gift from Cihuatan.
We are still waiting for the cost of the VIP tour with Gabriela but estimate it will run around $100/person
Option #2 San Salvador
Starting and finishing in San Salvador, Visiting Ron Cihuatán distillery has a cost of $60/person (minimum cost for groups less than 5 of $300/group), this includes as mentioned transportation in a modern van with AC to and from the distillery from San Salvador, a certified and bilingual guide, a bottle of water and a surprise gift from Cihuatan.
We are still waiting for the cost for the VIP tour with Gabriela but estimate it will run around $110/person.
Option #3 Adding the Mayan site of Cihuatan
Make a day of it and include a visit to El Salvador’s largest Mayan site Cihuatán with its typical Mayan ball court and main unique pyramid. We combine the 2.5 hour tour of the distillery with the nearby Mayan site of Cihuatan, making it a fuller day trip and combining our past Mayan cultural with today’s Rum production. The cost for this tour is $80/person (minimum cost for groups less than 5 of $400/group), which again includes transportation in a mordern van with AC to and from the distillery and Mayan site of Cihuatán from Suchitoto or San Salvador (tour can be arranged for other destinations in El Salvador), all entrance fees, a certified and bilingual guide and two bottles of water.
We are still waiting for the cost for the VIP tour with Gabriela but estimate it will run around $130/person.
Option #4 add the beautiful city of La Palma
Make it a full day and include a visit to the colorful mountain town of La Palma to see how the painted wood handicrafts are produced and see Fernando Llort’s and Alfredo Linares art style throughout the city. We combine the 2.5 hour’ tour of the distillery with lunch and a short tour of La Palma combining our local handicrafts with today’s Rum production. The cost for this tour is $100/person. This includes transportation in a mordern van with AC to and from the distillery from Suchitoto or San Salvador (this tour can be arranged for other destinations in El Salvador as well), and tour of La Palma, with one of our certified and bilingual guides and a two bottles of water. The price does not include the cost of lunch.
We are still waiting for the cost for the VIP tour with Gabriela but estimate it will run around $150/person.
If you don’t have time to join us on a tour you can try Ron Cihuatán at any of several places in San Salvador or at the Cihuatan duty free at airport. You can also find Ron Cihuatan online at The Rum Shop