Parque Josone

sights / Parks & gardens

Parque Josone information

Location
Varadero , Cuba
Address
cnr Av 1 & Calle 58
Opening hours
9am-midnight
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This green oasis is more enclosed and much prettier than Parque Central. The gardens date back to 1940, taking their name from the former owners, José Fermín Iturrioz y Llaguno and his wife Onelia, who owned the Arrechabala rum distillery in nearby Cárdenas and built a neoclassical mansion here: the Retiro Josone.

Expropriated after the Revolution, the mansion became a guesthouse for visiting foreign dignitaries. The park is now a public space for the enjoyment of all – you may see Cuban girls celebrate their quinciñeras (15th-birthday celebrations) here. Josone's expansive, shady grounds feature a lake with rowboats (CUC$0.50 per person per hour), atmospheric eateries, resident geese, myriad tree species and a minitrain. There's a public swimming pool (admission CUC$2) in the south of the park and the odd ostrich lurking nearby. Good music can be heard nightly.