Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars?

Many individuals have always asked the question “Can you see Cuba from Key West with binoculars?”

The answer is NO. Most citizens of America do not like this answer.

The problem is that the earth, being round, curves and Cuba, which is about 90 miles from Key West, falls below the horizon when you look towards it from Key West.

Even if you secure viewing aids like telescopes or binoculars, you will not be able to view Havana while on holiday in Key West.

This does not stop enterprising hotel and bar owners from advertising their location as ideal for visiting Cuba.

The Southernmost Point Buoy is the popular Key West landmark tourists love to take photos in front of.

The buoy marks the southernmost spot in the continental US.

Technically, the true southernmost post is the tiny island of Ballast Key, but since no one is permitted to take photos there (it is a private property), the Southernmost Point serves just as well.

Southernmost Point is close to the 24 North Hotel, which takes advantage of this, attracting many visitors.

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars? – What Would it Take to be Able to See Cuba from Key West, Florida?

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars

Since it is the southernmost point in the country, some individuals do not take “NO” for an answer.

Therefore, they are always searching for a way to see Cuba from Key West.

Well, there is a way, but it would require the construction of a 5000ft (1524m) tall tower.

That is what it would take to see Cuba from Key West Florida.

There are technical issues with that, no matter how much money you throw at it.

The world’s tallest man-made building is currently the 828-meter-tall (2,717-foot). That is the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.

How Far is Cuba from Florida?

Having answered the question “Can you see Cuba from Key West with binoculars” let’s look at how far Cuba is from Florida.

The closest distance between these two destinations is 103 miles.

The Strait of Florida is common between Cuba and Florida.

It runs between the Atlantic Ocean, The Gulf of Mexico, and between Florida Keys and Cuba.

The water distance across the Strait of Florida is measured in nautical miles, and Cuba is said to be about 90 miles south of Florida.

It is the shortest distance between Cuba’s capital city Havana, and Key West, Florida.

It sounds close enough, especially since Havana is closer to Key West than Key West is to Miami.

Another common question is, if you can’t see Cuba from Key West, can you see it from anywhere else in the United States?

It may seem self-explanatory, but if you can’t see Cuba from the southernmost point in the United States, you can’t see it from anywhere else.

Cuba’s Location

Before determining how far Cuba is from Florida in hours, it is critical to first understand the country profile.

Cuba is situated at the confluence of the Gulf of Mexico, the northern Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Bahamas, Haiti, Mexico, Jamaica, Honduras, and the United States all share maritime borders with this island nation.

Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

It is primarily an island, with a mainland, one smaller island, and several archipelagos.

When compared to the other 26 Caribbean countries, Cuba has the largest total area.

Is Cuba Really 144.84 Kilometers from Florida?

The majority of individuals believe that Cuba is only 144.84 kilometers south of Key West, Florida’s southernmost point.

This 144.84-kilometer distance, however, is a nautical measurement in statue kilometers or miles that is only utilized by big vessels at sea.

In terms of actual distance, Cuba is approximately 165.76 kilometers away from Florida State.

The shortest distance between these two destinations is calculated by measuring the distance between Florida’s southernmost tip and Cuba’s capital, Havana.

Therefore, 144.84 kilometers are only used for maritime navigation and have nothing to do with the actual distance between Florida and Cuba.

How Far is Cuba from Florida by Plane?

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars

Moving to Florida and wondering how to fly to Cuba from there?

The total straight-line flight distance from Florida to Cuba is 449 miles, or 723 kilometers or 390 nautical miles.

Your flight will depart from Florida and arrive in Cuba.

How Far is Florida from Cuba in Hours?

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars

The flight time from Florida to Cuba is 1 hour and 24 minutes.

The precise flying time, however, differs depending on wind speeds.

While direct flights from Florida to Cuba take less time, indirect flights take slightly longer than expected.

How Long Does It Take to Swim from Cuba to Florida and Vice Versa?

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars

While swimming from Cuba to Florida is possible, it is not recommended due to the extreme depth of water.

Between the Caribbean country and the Florida State, the maximum water depth is approximately 6000 feet.

It is too deep for both a recreational and a professional swimmer to complete the distance.

Furthermore, swimming from Cuba to Florida takes more than two days, adding more difficulties along the way.

Diana Nyad took 53 hours to complete the water distance between Havana and Key West in 2013.

Can You Drive from Florida to Cuba?

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars

YES, the driving distance between Florida to Cuba is 495 km.

It takes approximately 6 hours 14 minutes to drive from Florida to Cuba.

Can You Drive Your Boat to Cuba from Florida?

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars

NO, not at all. This is because political relations between the United States and Cuba are strained, meaning it is illegal to enter Cuban waters without permission.

South Florida boaters are strongly advised not to break the rules by crossing the Cuban territorial water border, which stretches 12 miles from the island nation’s coast.

If anyone is caught driving his boat to Cuba without the necessary authorization, he or she may face civil and criminal penalties of up to $25,000 per day and ten years in jail as well as the seizure of their yacht or boat.

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars? – Fun Things To Do in Key West, Florida

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars

When visitors abandon their obsession with spotting Cuba from Florida, they can then truly enjoy what Key West has to offer.

This wonderful island city in the Florida Keys archipelago is renowned for its ancient conch-style pastel-painted houses, beautiful beaches, great diving reefs, stately palm trees everywhere, and great day and night entertainment. If you are a nature lover, Florida has many beautiful national parks to visit.

Here is a list of the best places to visit and things to do in Key West, Florida

Sunset Watching at Sunset Pier

Things to do in Key West

In Key West, watching the sunset is something that everyone does on a daily basis.

You always wonder if today’s sunset will be more beautiful than yesterdays.

Sunset Pier a popular restaurant with the best seats in town, is the best place to do it from.

It is situated just off-Key West’s popular Mallory Square.

The Ocean Key Resort & Spa’s pier stretches out into the ocean.

Whether you watch the sunset from a bar stool at the massive bar or relax in one of the comfortable, colorful chairs, the show nature puts on every day is worth every penny.

While watching the sunset and drinking a rum cocktail, don’t forget to try some of the fantastic food this eatery has to offer.

Fresh oysters are a must when they are in season.

Every day, there is fresh seafood.

Everything becomes even more magical with live music.

Don’t be surprised if everything turns into a dance party. After all, you are in Key West.

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars

In 1931, Ernest Hemingway, the famous writer, moved to Key West and settled there. In 1851, he and his wife Pauline lived in a wonderful Spanish Colonial mansion created of native rock.

Today, the house serves as the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.

You can tour the house and view Hemingway’s personal belongings as well as the gorgeous antiques he and his wife accumulated.

There are animal skins and trophies he brought back from hunting trips and African safaris.

One of the rooms in the residence was Hemingway’s studio, within which he authored several of his magnificent books, including “To Have and Have Not.”

Cat enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the museum is home to several descendants of Hemingway’s renowned six-toed cat.

Mallory Square

Things to do in Key West

At Key West’s heart is Mallory Square.

This waterfront plaza is situated near Duval Street in Key West’s Old Town.

It is also home to the Waterfront Playhouse Theater, Key West Aquarium, Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum and Shipwreck Treasures Museum.

Mallory Square has been a gathering place for locals and visitors since the early 1800s. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida.

Every night, for the daily Sunset Celebration, the square fills up with craft art shows, artists, psychics, street performers, food and drink vendors, and thousands of visitors.

It is a must-visit when in Key West.

The entire town comes together for music, food, and fun. It is the epitome of Key West.

Harry S. Truman Little White House

Things to do in Key West

President Harry S. Truman spent his winters at the Little White House.

He paid 11 visits to the Little White House.

Many presidents since have visited the Little White House to relax and unwind.

Even before President Truman, the house had an interesting history.

It was built during the Spanish-American War in 1890 and served as the naval station’s command during both world wars.

The Little White House is still used by the country’s leaders for business and as a retreat.

It also serves as a public museum.

There are guided tours that bring back to life that period of history, as well as President Truman’s life, to life.

Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

Things to do in Key West

The Audubon House & Tropical Gardens is housed in a stunning mansion built for Captain John Huling Geiger’s family in 1840.

The house was abandoned for a time before being scheduled for demolition in 1958.

Saddened by the news that the beautiful old house will be demolished, the Mitchell Wolfson Family Foundation purchased it and rebuilt it to its former glory.

It is now a museum that depicts the lifestyle of a wealthy Key West family at the end of the nineteenth century.

The house is furnished with magnificent period furniture and a massive collection of authentic lithographs painted by naturalist John James Audubon.

The surrounding garden is probably even more beautiful than the house.

The lovely brick pathways are surrounded by crotons, orchids, bromeliads, and palm trees and you can take a walk along the pathways.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Things to do in Key West

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy is a magical haven of peace in the heart of bustling Duval Street.

It is home to approximately 60 species of butterflies and approximately 20 species of exotic birds.

The Conservatory replicates their natural habitat, which is humid and lush, with fragrant blooming bushes and trees.

It’s a unique experience to watch colorful butterflies move freely from flower to flower. Caterpillars can be observed feeding on plants and transforming from stage to stage until they take shape as butterflies.

The artist Sam Trophia butterfly-inspired compositions are available for purchase in the Conservatory’s gift shop.

Do not miss visiting this amazing place!

Lazy Dog Adventures

Things to do Key West

When visiting an island especially in Florida, it is instinctual to desire to explore the coasts and waters surrounding Key West.

Lazy Dog Adventures provides kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling equipment to assist you in your adventure.

You can go on your own or they can guide you through the lush mangroves and hidden waterways, explain to you how to paddleboard, or provide you with a map and point you to the most interesting spots.

They are at the Hurricane Hole Marina.

U.S Coast Guard Ingham Maritime Museum

Things to do in Key West

Children enjoy exploring the 50-year-old CGC INGHAM, trying to envision the sounds of battles that this old war horse witnessed during its long, useful life.

This Coast Guard Cutter has seen far too many battles and wars and has played a significant role throughout the 20th century.

Ingham worked from 1936 to 1988 and took part in all World Wars.

Ingham is currently a Maritime Museum and National Historic Landmark.

The ship is located on the Truman Waterfront at the western end of Key West.

Scuba Diving at the Vandenberg

Things to do in Key West

Due to rich coral reefs that surround the islands, scuba diving is among the most popular activities in Key West.

However, too many visitors endanger the fragile corals in the marine ecosystem.

To divert their attention, local officials decided to sink the Vandenberg in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in 2009 to create an artificial reef.

The Vandenberg wreck is about seven miles south of Key West.

It now serves as a home for hundreds of fish species and a foundation for coral growth.

Diving wrecks is a popular diving activity, so this new location will be a great experience for divers.

It is also an excellent site for research and education.

Vandenberg deserves a second chance.

It is a former US Navy ship that served as a military troop transport as well as a missile-tracking vessel.

If you want to dive the Vandenberg, go to one of Key West’s many dive shops, and they will gladly organize the dive for you and give you all equipment needed for the exercise.

Historic Seaport at Key West Bight

The Key West Historic Seaport and Harbor Walk, also known as the Inner Harbor or Key West Bight, is a burgeoning center of Key West’s cultural and economic life.

It is situated at the Key West Bight Marina.

The seaport has been in operation for nearly 200 years. Until the 1990s, it was actively utilized by coastal shipping vessels and local fishing boats.

Since then, it has been transformed into a bustling tourist destination where visitors can stroll along Harbor Walk, shop, eat at waterfront restaurants, or board one of the boats to go dolphin watching, snorkeling, or scuba diving.

You have the option of jet skiing, kayaking, or parasailing.

Final Thoughts on Can You See Cuba from Key West with Binoculars?

Can you see Cuba from Key West with binoculars? The answer is Definitely NO.

People believe that because Cuba is only 144.84 kilometers away from Key West, they can see it with a high-powered telescope or binoculars.

However, the issue isn’t with your vision or your tools. The issue is that as the earth curves, Cuba falls below the horizon.

People occasionally claim to have seen Havana’s city lights at night, but they have never been able to prove their claim.

Additionally, there are many activities to keep you engaged in Key West when you visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you see Cuba from Key West at night?

The answer is MAYBE. Although I have never tried gazing out over the ocean at midnight from Key West's southernmost point, multiple sources agree that the answer is a big maybe. It is possible, depending on atmospheric factors such as how light from the earth behaves in the lower parts of the atmosphere and the weather in general (which must be crystal clear). Perhaps you'll be able to spot a few whisking rays with a good pair of serious stargazing binoculars!

Can you see Cuba from the Bahamas?

NO. The Bahamas is 392.53 kilometers or 244 miles from Cuba. If you can't see Cuba from Key West, which is 90 miles away, you won't be able to see it from the Bahamas.

Can you see Cuba from Miami?

Key West is 90 miles from Cuba, according to the Southernmost Buoy. However, Key West is located 150 miles north of Miami. That means Miami is 240 miles away from Cuba. If you can't see Cuba from Key West, you won't be able to see it from Miami.

Can you see the Bahamas from Key West?

NO. The Bahamas is 239 miles away from Key West. If you can't see Cuba, which is 90 miles away, you won't be able to see the Bahamas, which is much further away.

How long is a boat ride from Key West to Havana, Cuba?

The distance between Key West and Havana is approximately 106 miles, or 92 nautical miles, and a large 30-meter-long yacht I looked at has a top speed of 20 knots (20 nautical miles per hour). So, let's cut some slack and say 17 knots across the sea. That is 92 miles divided by 17 knots, resulting in a travel time of just over 5 hours by (this type of) boat. However, I have read that the travel time by boat is 4 hours in some places, so I guess it will depend. What I can tell you is that the record time for sailing from Key West to Havana was set in 2017, and two guys on a boat set the record

Can you swim from Key West to Havana?

YES. Your ability and stamina will determine whether you can or cannot. However, some people can and do. Diana Nyad, 64, swam from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida, without any protection or shark cage in 2013. She completed the 110-mile swim through the shark-infested Straits of Florida in about 53 hours.

Can US citizens travel to Cuba?

One major reason for Americans' fascination with Cuba is that they cannot visit as tourists. They can travel to Cuba if they have a compelling reason and a special permit. There are 12 categories in which an American can visit Cuba. Check on this government site to see if you fit into one of them.

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