Can You See Cuba From Key West?

see cuba from key west

If you are in Key West, you may wonder whether you can see Cuba. Discover the distance from Cuba to Key West and the methods to see Cuba from Key West.

One of Florida’s most well-known tourist destinations in Key West. Additionally, it is the last of Florida’s chain of islands. One of the first questions that American tourists have when they arrive in this most southern region of the US is whether they can see Cuba from Key West. Sadly, no, you cannot see it.

The lighthouse at Key West’s southernmost tip is the closest thing to Cuba, but even then, you can’t see it. It is about 30 to 35 miles away.

Where Is Cuba From The Key West?

Just 90 miles south of Florida in the Caribbean Sea is Cuba. It is one of the most well-liked travel destinations in the world and has been inaccessible to Americans for more than 50 years.

Cuba is one of the nations that receive the most travelers, but it is also one of the least connected. Since 1962, the island nation has been subject to a US trade embargo, making travel there prohibited for Americans unless they have prior approval from the Treasury Department.

In March 2016, President Barack Obama paid a visit to Havana, the first sitting US president to do so since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. In 2015, the United States and Cuba reestablished diplomatic relations. Today, however, there are legal categories set forth by the Treasury Department that allow for American travel to Cuba.

These visits by Cuban Americans are permitted as long as they meet the following requirements: they must have visited their families in Cuba at least once every three years prior to applying for a visa; they must not have left the country as tourists during those visits.

They must have relatives who are citizens or permanent residents who live in Cuba, and they must have taken a direct flight from Miami International Airport or West Palm Beach International Airport to Havana.

Can You See Cuba From Key West?

No, Key West is unable to provide a view of Cuba. It’s 94 miles from Key West to Cuba, which explains this. The human eye is unable to see that far away.

The distance between Cuba and Key West is 94 miles, making it impossible for anyone to see the island with their own eyes from the ground. However, Live Science claims that when it is dark, the naked human eye can see the glimmer of a candle’s light at a distance of 30 miles.

In spite of this, if you were to climb high enough on the island, you might be able to see Havana’s city lights. That’s because you can see shapes hundreds of miles away when you’re at a high enough altitude.

The difficulty arises from Key West’s lack of a mountain that is tall enough for you to climb in order to see Cuba. The curvature of the earth and Cuba’s distance make it impossible to see the island unless you were in a helicopter above Key West or if the island ever constructs a very tall watchtower.

Why Can’t You See Cuba From Key West?

You can’t see Cuba from Key West for a few reasons, to say nothing of the fact that it’s impossible. Here are a few of the reasons why Key West is unable to provide a view of Cuba.

Curvature Of The Earth

At 3.1 miles, the Earth’s surface curves outward. Ground level can no longer see the horizon at this distance. The curvature of the Earth will present a challenge if you try to look at Cuba, which is 94 miles away from Key West, from the ground there.

In a sense, Cuba will disappear from view altogether. You might be able to see a few hazy lights in the distance if the Earth were flat. However, because the Earth is a sphere and curves, it is impossible to see Cuba from the ground.

Lack Of Mountains

Solares Hill is where Key West’s highest point is located. 18 feet tall, or 5.5 meters above sea level, is all that it is. To see Cuba from there, that won’t be tall enough. Even worse, the hill’s surroundings, which include a number of structures and trees, obstruct your view of the water.

You would have to get high to see Cuba. There aren’t any mountains in Key West that you can climb to get a view of the Earth’s curvature. It has one small hill at most.

See Cuba From Key West

Since Key West lacks any mountains, the only way to get around the curvature of the Earth is with a man-made tower, which is currently not high enough to allow visitors to see Cuba.

Can You See Cuba from Key West at Night?

The verdict is still out on that one, I suppose. Now that we’ve established that you cannot actually SEE Cuba from Key West, that is impossible due to the curvature of the planet (and your stupid eyes, which are inadequate).

But what about at night, and the lights of Key West hovering in the atmosphere over the land? Multiple sources all agree that the answer to this question is a huge maybe, despite the fact that I have never tried gazing out over the ocean at midnight from Key West’s southernmost point.

It might be possible depending on atmospheric factors like how the earth’s light behaves in the lower atmosphere and the general weather (which needs to be crystal clear).

Maybe you’ll be able to see a few whisking rays with a good pair of serious stargazing binoculars!

How To See Cuba From Key West?

Despite this, Key West is unable to be seen from Cuba, at least not with the unaided eye. But with the right gear, your chances of seeing Cuba from Key West might no longer be a pipe dream. But there are some limitations.

See Cuba From Key West


There must be no clouds or rain, as these conditions could make visibility difficult to distinguish. Please bid your horizon a fond farewell if you visited Key West during the rainy season. It is crucial to ensure that the sky is clear and ominous.

Time Of The Day

A crucial component of mastering that Cuban view is picking the right time of day. Getting into it just before sunset will give you the best view.


A telescope or pair of binoculars are required. With a powerful telescope, it might not be impossible for you to see the streets and lights of Havana given that Cuba is only 90 miles south of Key West.

Despite all of this, it should be noted that numerous attempts to see the fabled Cuban view from Key West have fallen short. The Cuban point of view is not thus guaranteed by any of the aforementioned measures. However, it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.

Can You Swim From Key West To Cuba?

It’s important to keep in mind that Cuba is an island surrounded by water, and driving in it from Florida, let alone Key West, isn’t exactly what the average person would want (no, seriously, you can’t drive on water).

But did you know that there were in fact some individuals who “drove” from Cuba to Florida? Yes, these clever people created a “Floating Truck” to cross the strait. But before you laugh, know that they were actually successful. Therefore, if anyone wishes to “drive” the waters, they should consult with them for the necessary guidance.

If you’re daring enough, you might even want to rent a water car and “drive” your way into Cuban territory — provided the Cuban government doesn’t object to your zeal and effort, that is.

In all seriousness though, driving from Florida (Key West) to Cuba necessitates extreme measures and efforts, neither of which a typical tourist would want to undertake. In the end, even if you are able to build a miraculous hydraulic land vehicle, the Cuban government’s legal restrictions on sailing ships should cause you to reconsider your options. Regardless, it is an unworkable reality.

How To Get To Cuba From Key West?

There are two ways to get to Cuba from Key West: by air and by sailing.

Private Air

see cuba from key west

Although commercial airlines don’t fly to Cuba, you can find some private charters that do. Because they are private, not everyone has the best services or aircraft.

To evaluate the services’ caliber, it is worthwhile to conduct research and read reviews. It can be worthwhile to spend a little extra money to get a good pilot and a safe plane when you’re going to be flying over the ocean.

However, several private charter aircraft regularly fly from Key West to Cuba. They earn their living by taking tourists who want to experience the best of both worlds. A private plane is very much in demand in the summer.

To guarantee a seat on the plane, it is worth making your reservations early. Additionally, it is the quickest route from Key West to Cuba. There is a direct flight that lasts about an hour.

Consider renting a private plane if you want to spend as much time as you can in Havana. One of the best ways to travel from Key West to Cuba by air is via a private charter aircraft.


Taking a boat from Key West to Cuba is the alternate main method of transportation. Numerous ferries are available to transport you between the two islands, departing from both Cuba and Key West. Some provide a more opulent boat ride to Cuba, while others provide a more straightforward boat ride.

You might favor one over the other depending on your financial situation. Drinks and food may be included in some of the services. Others may have a comfortable sitting area where you can unwind while traveling across the ocean.

There are always some inexpensive ferries that might be a little risky to use, just like with private aircraft. You may want to make an investment in a reputable ferry company to make sure you arrive safely.

Nevertheless, there is a high demand for ferry services. You will want to reserve early to guarantee you get a seat because many of the boats require reservations.

It takes about three and a half hours to travel by sea. Traveling by sea might not be the best choice if you only have a short amount of time to spend in Cuba because it is a little bit of a longer journey.

The ferry, however, might be a good choice if you intend to stay on the island for a few days. It’s at the very least a peaceful way to cross the ocean. Another fantastic way to reach Cuba from Key West is by boat if you’re looking for something a little more cost-effective.

See Cuba From Key West

How Far Is It From Florida To Cuba?

Cuba, including its capital Havana, is roughly 90 miles away from Key West as the bird flies. Given that Miami is farther away from Key West than Havana is from Key West, it seems reasonably close.

People also like to inquire whether it is possible to see Cuba from anywhere in the US if Key West is not a good vantage point from which to do so. Although it should go without saying, if you can’t see Cuba from the southernmost point of the US, then you most definitely can’t see it from anywhere else.


Can Cuba Be Seen from the US?

The distance between Cuba and Key West is 94 miles, making it impossible for anyone to see the island with their own eyes from the ground. However, Live Science claims that when it is dark, the naked human eye can see the glimmer of a candle’s light at a distance of 30 miles.

Can You Drive to Cuba from Key West?

You have to contend with the Florida Channel, so normally no. However, some ingenious Cubans did build a “floating truck” to cross the strait. Maybe you should find the people in this photo and ask them about their trip if you really like the idea of driving to Cuba.

Can You Take a Boat Ride from Key West to Cuba?

While there will be ferries from Florida to Cuba departing from a number of ports and cities, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Key West will be the quickest option, with the entire trip taking only about four hours.

How Far is Cuba from Key West by Boat?

Cuba is located directly east of Key West, across the Straights of Florida. Even though it’s only 90 miles away, it feels like a million miles away from any country you’ve ever been to. Speak with Key West Charter Boat or submit a quote request online.

How Deep is the Water Between Key West and Cuba?

It is 93 miles (150 km) wide at the narrowest point between Key West and the Cuban shore, and has been sounded to a depth of 6,000 feet (1,800 m).


Can you see Cuba from Key West? From Key West, you cannot see Cuba with your own eyes. To get high enough above Key West to see Havana’s city lights at night, you’ll need to take a helicopter. Either a ferry or a private plane are options for travelers who want to travel to Cuba from Key West.

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