- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Set in the middle of hundreds of square kilometers of sugarcane, Chichigalpa’s Ingenio San Antonio is Nicaragua’s largest and most powerful sugar refinery, and more importantly, the Compañía Licorera, Nicaragua’s alcohol monopoly and source of all the Toña, Victoria, Flor de Caña, and Ron Plata you’ve been drinking.
The two companies belong to the wealthy Pellas family, who founded the sugar refinery in 1890 and have produced sugar and liquor ever since (except 1988–1992 when the Sandinista government briefly expropriated it—the Chamorro government subsequently returned it).
As alcohol is a mainstay of Nicaraguan culture and legend, the refineries and distilleries have been important parts of Nicaraguan life for more than a century. Arrange a tour of the cane processing facilities and Flor de Caña distillery by calling the plant in advance (tel. 505/2343-2344, try asking for Simón Pedro Pereira) and requesting a guided tour. At the moment, there is no charge for the tour, but neither are there free samples.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition