Cuba is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. A lot has been said about this country, and as a result, many people want to visit it. But even before then, is it true that you can see Cuba from Key West?
Unfortunately, no, you can’t see it. The closest you can get to Cuba is about 30-35 miles off of Key West’s southern tip on the lighthouse, but even then, you still can’t see it. You could technically see the small island of Cayo Coco from here if you have a good enough pair of binoculars or a telescope, but it would be hard to distinguish it from other islands in the area.
Some tours take you out into international waters so that you can be closer to Cuba, but these tours are expensive and don’t always offer good views of the landmass. If you want to see Cuba up close and personal, consider booking a cruise through its waters instead or take a charter flight into Havana or Cienfuegos (there are many daily flights from Miami). If you have time, this is the best way to see Cuba.
Where is Cuba at from the Key West
Cuba is located in the Caribbean Sea, just 90 miles south of Florida. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and has been off-limits to Americans for more than 50 years.
Cuba is one of the most-visited countries in the world, but it’s also one of the most isolated. The island nation had been under a US trade embargo since 1962, which means American travelers can’t go there unless they have special permission from the Treasury Department.
The United States restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015, and In March 2016, President Barack Obama visited Havana, becoming the first sitting US president to do so since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Today, however, Americans can travel to Cuba under the Treasury Department’s legal categories.
These visits by Cuban Americans are allowed under certain conditions: Cuban Americans must have visited their families at least once every three years before their request for a visa; they must not have traveled outside of Cuba as tourists during those visits; they must have family members living in Cuba who are citizens or permanent residents, and they must have traveled on a direct flight from Miami International Airport or West Palm Beach International Airport to Havana.
Why Can’t You see Cuba from Key West?
The answer is simple. You can’t see Cuba from Key West because it’s about 90 miles away, and Cuba is a small island, so it would be hard to see even if it were closer. For example, imagine you’re standing in the middle of a football field and trying to see someone standing on the opposite side of the stadium. It’s easy if the person is close by but much harder if he or she is halfway across the field.
Cuba is about 90 miles from Key West (about 145 kilometers), but it’s only about 120 miles wide at its widest point — which means that if you could somehow stand at sea level on Key West and look toward Cuba, there would be no way for you to distinguish one tiny part of Cuba from another without binoculars or some other kind of magnification device.
Moreover, there aren’t any mountains around Key West that would allow you to see across the water like this — not even in Florida — so the best place to look for Cuba from Key West would be somewhere high up, like a bridge or a lighthouse tower.
Can You Take a Boat from Key West to Cuba?
Many ask if they can take a boat from Key West to Cuba. Of course, the answer is yes, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
In the United States, some laws and regulations restrict travel to other countries. For instance, you can’t just get on a plane and fly to Paris without going through customs first. Similarly, it’s illegal to enter Cuba without permission from the US government.
The best way to travel to Cuba is by cruise ship or yacht, but there are other options available if you know what you’re doing and have the time, money, and patience for the process.
Cuba has been off limits for decades for Americans who want to visit the island directly. To get around this restriction, cruise ships sail from Florida ports such as Miami or Key West into international waters, where they stop at Cuban ports before returning to Florida or continuing on their routes elsewhere. This allows travelers on those ships (and only those ships) to spend some time exploring Cuba before returning home again with no need for visas or other paperwork required by most visitors traveling between two countries with no diplomatic ties like the US has with Cuba.
Are the Havana Lights Visible from the Key West
The answer is no; you can’t see the lights or any other part of the land, at least through the naked eye.
To answer this question, one has to first understand how far away Key West is from Cuba. The answer is about 90 miles from Key West to Havana. This is a distance that can be covered by commercial airlines in just a few minutes. However, for most people, this distance is not something that they can travel on foot or even by car in less than a day or so, and thus it can be quite hard for the naked eye to see it.
In addition, if you look at Cuba on Google Earth, you will notice that most of its coastline is very shallow coastal waters, so it would not be possible to see any structures on land even if they were visible from another location.
There are some exceptions where people have been able to see the lights from Cuba from Key West, but those sightings have been rare and usually only occur when there is a full moon out during a clear night when there are no clouds in the sky blocking out all light sources such as stars.
What Can’t You Bring to Cuba?
You will not be able to bring weapons or ammunition into the country. This includes guns, knives, and any other type of weapon or ammunition.
Although there are no official restrictions on bringing alcohol into Cuba, there is limited availability in certain areas of the country. Because of this, you may want to check with local authorities before bringing your own.
You cannot bring to Cuba the following items:
Drones – It is illegal to bring drones into Cuba. Any devices that can be used for surveillance by non-state entities, including drones, are banned.
Adult materials – Pornographic material and adult magazines are not permitted in Cuba, though there is no shortage of both on the island. Any printed or digital materials that could be construed as pornographic will be confiscated at the airport.
Communication Technology devices. You cannot bring satellite phones, satellite internet devices (such as those used with GOIP), or other communication devices that use satellite technology into Cuba. Before your flight to Havana, they must be left behind at your home airport.
What You Should Never Do in Cuba
Cuba has a rich culture and history, but it’s also a country that has been under the American embargo for decades. This has left many Cubans with a very different perspective on life than most Americans.
If you’re planning to travel to Cuba, here are some things you should never do:
- Don’t talk about politics the subject is highly sensitive and can lead to heated arguments or even physical violence.
- Don’t stay in the orange casa particulares. Casas particulares (private homes) are often run by Cuban families who rent out rooms for an extremely low price compared to hotels;
- Don’t work on a tourist visa. If you’re planning on working in Cuba then ensure that you have the correct visa before entering the country, as it’s very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to obtain one once inside Cuba’s borders.
- Don’t take photos of police or soldiers. As with talking about politics, taking photos of police or soldiers is also frowned upon and could lead to detention and questioning by authorities if caught doing so.
How Safe Is It in Cuba?
Many places in the world are considered safe, and Cuba is one of those places. The island has a reputation for being one of the safest countries in the world, and it is known as an extremely welcoming place.
Cuba is generally a country with a rich history and culture deeply rooted in its people’s heritage. The country has been through many turbulent times, but ultimately, it has been able to remain stable despite all the challenges it has faced over the years.
So, it is ultimately safe in Cuba though you won’t miss some petty theft and currency scams for new people visiting the region. This, however, doesn’t affect the general safe state of Cuba.