Is Cuba Visible From Mexico? (The Answers May Surprise You)

Cuba and Mexico are both located in the Gulf of Mexico. They are two popular tourist destinations that both offer sun and sea, and you’ll find that lots of people visit both quite frequently. 

If both Cuba and Mexico are in the Gulf of Mexico, how far away are they from each other? Can you see Cuba if you’re standing on the shorelines of Mexico? 

Is Cuba Visible From Mexico (The Answers May Surprise You!) (1)

If you are curious to find out, read on! The answer to this question may surprise you! 

How Far Away From Mexico Is Cuba? 

First and foremost, how far away from Mexico is Cuba? Well, by all technicalities, they are actually neighbors.

If you were to locate the Gulf of Mexico on a map, you would find that Mexico and Cuba are right at the bottom. 

Mexico is located just underneath the United States and stretches right out to the city of Cancun. Right next to Cancun on the map is the main island of Cuba. 

They may look extremely close on a map, but you’d actually be surprised to learn that they are much further apart than they seem. 

The closest point in Mexico to Cuba is Cancun, so we’ll use Cancun as our Mexican reference point.

Though it looks like it’s close, Cancun is actually more than 230 kilometers away from Cuba and this plays into the visibility of Cuba from Mexico. 

Is Cuba Visible From Mexico?

So, is Cuba visible from the shores of Mexico? As Cancun is the closest point, we’re still going to use it as a reference point, because there’s nowhere else in Mexico that would be possible to see Cuba. 

It might surprise you to learn that even from Cancun, you cannot actually see Cuba. There are a couple of reasons as to why this is, so we’ll explain them to you. 

It all has to do with the earth’s curve. Between Mexico and Cuba, the earth’s curve is actually extremely prominent, so this is why you can’t see Cuba from Mexico, even at the closest Mexican location of Cancun. 

Human beings can only see 5km in front of them before the horizon is cut off by the earth’s curve.

Because Cuba is so far away in terms of kilometers and the earth’s curve cuts off the line of sight, this makes it completely impossible to see Cuba from Mexico, even if you’re standing on the shores of Cancun. 

However, on the very rarest of occasions, if you were to stand at the furthest point in Cancun that is closest to Cuba, on a clear day, you might be able to see a very foggy horizon and that would be Cuba. This occurrence is so rare though that you’d likely never get this opportunity. 

So overall, the answer is no. Cuba isn’t visible from Mexico. It just isn’t humanly possible due to the curve of the Earth and the vast distance between the two countries. 

Can You Fly Direct From Mexico To Cuba?

Though you can’t see Cuba from Mexico, you can definitely fly directly from one to the other. 

If you want to get from Mexico to Cuba, you would need to get a flight from Cancun to the city of Havana in Cuba.

The beauty and advantage of doing this are it’s a lot cheaper than flying from the United States and you’ll only actually be traveling for about an hour and a half max. 

There are nonstop flights from Mexico to Cuba and vice versa every day, so if you do need to travel between the two, you’ll have no issues as long as you have the proper boarding passes and documentation. 

Is Cuba Visible From Mexico (The Answers May Surprise You!)

Can You Travel From Mexico To Cuba By Boat?

The short answer to this is yes, but not in the way that you’d think. 

Because of how far away Mexico is from Cuba, it requires at least two tanks of gas for any boat and this makes it impossible for ferries to make the trip.

The distance makes it extremely time-consuming, expensive, and very impractical. 

Some people do travel from Mexico to Cuba by boat, but it’s usually an illegal journey and lots of people who do it are smugglers.

The main things that are smuggled back and forth between the two countries are Mezcal and Cigars. 

Overall, it’s cheaper and safer for you to travel between these two countries by plane and other forms of air transportation.

It’s also the most legal way to travel between the two, so if you were considering traveling by boat, you may want to abandon that idea. 

How Long Would It Take To Swim From Mexico To Cuba?

In theory, it is possible, but it’s definitely not recommended or advised to actually attempt swimming from Mexico to Cuba.

For the sake of curiosity though, we’ll tell you how swimming from Mexico to Cuba would go. 

You’d have to use Cancun as your Mexican starting point. Then you’d have to swim over 125 miles from Cancun to Cuba. It would take you about 40 hours in total to do this. 

Surprisingly though, there is a recorded case of a woman who used a shark cage to swim between the two countries. She swam from Mexico, across the Yucatan strait, all the way to Cuba in about 39 hours. 

Is Cuba A Good Place To Visit? 

If you love places that are filled with diverse cultures and filled with historical features, then Cuba is a great place for you to visit. 

If you do find yourself in Cuba, one of the places you’ll definitely want to visit is Havana, specifically the Old Havana area.

It is filled with restored buildings that give you a real feel for what Cuba was like over 200 years ago. Most of the buildings and architecture still look today how they did back then. 

Cuba is also known for its love for classic American muscle cars, so you’ll see more of them on the roads than you would any other type of car.

This will really make you feel like you’re experiencing a place that is trapped in time but in the best way possible. 

There are plenty of museums, castles, and forts you can explore in Cuba too and lots of shopping centers and restaurants, so you won’t get bored if you take a trip there! 

Cuba is a place that has a tropical climate as well, so you’re almost guaranteed to have good weather while you’re there.

Be warned though that Cuba is prone to hurricanes and heavy storms, so you will want to keep tabs on the weather and plan accordingly. 


It’s quite surprising that you can’t see Cuba from Mexico, especially considering how close they are to the map.

But the actual distance between the two, coupled with the curve of the earth makes it practically impossible for you to see either shoreline from the other. 

If you want to explore both Mexico and Cuba though, this is a very real possibility given the cheaper nature and ease of travel between the two.

If you get the chance to have an adventure or trip to these two beautiful countries, you should definitely not miss out on the opportunity! 

Jim Stanton
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