What Continent Is Cuba On? (+16 More Cuba Questions Revealed)!

Wondering what continent is Cuba on?

Well, technically, Cuba is not on any continent, although it belongs to the North American continent along with the US, Canada, and Mexico.

The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba, is actually an island or an archipelago of more than 4000 islands.

The two largest islands are the main Island of Cuba (which is what we think about when talking about Cuba), and the smaller Isla de la Juventud to the south of the main island.

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Where Is Cuba Located?

  • Cuba is located where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Northern Atlantic Ocean meet.
  • The island country Cubas’s neighboring states are a staggering 19 countries; see them listed later in the article.
  • The northern shores of Cuba are around 90 miles from Key West in Florida, 100 miles from the Bahamas, and 50 miles from Haiti.
  • Cuba has shores to two different oceans and covers 42.426 square miles, and it is also the largest country in the Caribbean.
    Despite its size, the country of Cuba is still subject to the trade sanctions led by the US, which allows very few foreign companies to trade with the country.

So How Do We Decide What Continent Is Cuba On?

Although Cuba is technically a part of the North American continent, there are parts of the area we think of as North America or American countries that are referred to by other names, like Central America, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

The exact geographical location of Cuba is in the northern Caribbean region at the point where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Culturally, Cuba is considered to be part of Latin America, and the Latin connection is evident from you setting foot on the mainland of Cuba!

Also read: What Is Cuba Known For? 22 Enticing Things You Want To Know!

Cuba Map & Caribbean Region

This map was made with Wanderlog, a road trip planner app on iOS and Android

1. What countries border Cuba?

Cuba is the largest single island of the archipelago. As an island, the country does not have territorial borders, but neighboring countries and island states are a staggering 19.

The territorial and island nations in the Caribbean Sea surrounding Cuba are:

Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, the US (Florida), Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts, and Nevis, and St. Lucia. Puh!

Also read: How To Travel Easily To Cuba From US Hassle-Free 2022!

2. What Hemisphere Is Cuba In?

Although close to other states Cuba is a bit like a world of its own

North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere.

From the island, you can step right into the North Atlantic Ocean to the north and east.

To the south, you enter South America and the Caribbean Sea, and to the west, you can swim in the Gulf of Mexico!

3. What Is The Capital Of Cuba?

The capital of Cuba is Havana, situated on the northern shore of the western part of the island.

Other large cities in Cuba are Santiago de Cuba all the way to the east (the second largest city), Camagüey, Holguin, and Guantánamo (where the Americans still have a military base).

Also read: Sensational 7 Days In Cuba Itinerary 2022!

4. Can you see Cuba from Key West?

No, you cannot see Cuba from Key West.

Although the distance is not very long, the problem is that the earth is curving a bit.

Cuba, which is about 90 miles from Key West, falls just below the horizon when you gaze over the ocean towards the island from Key West.

On a really clear night, and with a high-powered telescope, you might be able to sense the lights over Havana in the night sky with a lot of goodwill (and without a power outage).

Havana lights in the night

5. How far is Florida from Cuba?

The total straight-line distance from Key West, the southernmost point in the US, to the Republic of Cuba (they still have a president) is around 100 miles,

This is the same as around 160 km, or 86 nautical miles if you go by boat and skip the airfare.

6. Can you take a boat from Florida to Cuba?

Incredible places to sail around Cuba

Yes, you can travel by boat to Cuba, but only on privately owned non-US vessels.

There are strict rules to arriving in Cuba on a private boat, so make sure you know what they are!

There are no commercial boats or ferries between the US and Cuba.

From the summer of 2021, American-flagged cruise ships can no longer sail to port in Cuba, which is still the case in the summer of 2023.

Vessels and private yachts under the American flag are no longer generally permitted to enter Cuban territorial waters legally as a result of changes to the travel laws.

Also read: How To Get A Tourist Card For Cuba 2022!

Private American registered boats can legally enter Cuba with an export permit issued by the US Dept of Commerce and Permission to enter the territorial waters of Cuba issued by the USCG.

Vessels registered under other flags can dock in Cuba, but there are a set of regulations listed here that they need to adhere to.

7. How Long Is A Plane Ride From Florida to Cuba?

As to what continent is Cuba on, even technicallyl a part of North America, Cuba is a Caribbean island surrounded by water, and blessed with numerous stunning beaches!

A flight from Miami International Airport to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana (La Habana in Spanish), Cuba, is around a one-hour flight.

Flying American Airlines from Miami to Havana, you can buy a Cuban tourist card at check-in or even at the boarding counter.

Also read: Brilliant Cuba Tips For Travel You Need To Know 2022!

8. Do They Speak Spanish In Cuba?

Yes, the inhabitants of Cuba speak Spanish after being a Spanish colony for 500 years!

The Cuban Spanish sometimes referred to as Cubano, is technically the lingua franca of Cuba.

That means that Cuban Spanish has been adopted from its colonial power since the 15th Century, as the native population initially had their own language.

The current version of the Cuban language has been influenced by the huge diversity of the population, with heritage from Europe, Africa, the Latin American and Caribbean region – and even Russia.

Also read: 33+ Legendary Things To Do In Havana 2022!

9. Can You Speak English In Cuba?

As a rule of thumb, most of the Cuban population only speaks Spanish, although that is changing gradually.

However, as the country has opened up to tourism, in larger cities and tourist areas, English is more commonly understood now than before.

With the arrival of the internet to the average Cuban around 2019, the internet brought English-speaking YouTube and Facebook posts and videos, which helped.

Although speaking Spanish isn’t strictly necessary, I will encourage you to learn simple words and basic phrases in order to maximize your experience with the Cuban people.

Also read: Day Trips From Key West To Cuba (Yes, It’s Possible)!

Cayo Levisa is one of the gorgeous beach spots northwest of the island
Cayo Levisa is one of the gorgeous beach spots northwest of the island

10. What Is The Best Part Of Cuba To Stay In?

Most of the best places to stay in Cuba are in and around Havana or Varadero.

This is because these destinations are perfect for kicking off your short-distance explorations on the northwestern part of the island.

The distance between Havana and Varadero is around 92 miles (149 kilometers) and takes 2-2,5 hours by car (3,5 by bus).

From Havana, you can easily reach Varadero, Vinales, Trinidad, the Bay of Pigs and Playa Giron, Cienfuegos, and Santa Clara.

You can also reach some of the Cuban keys like Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo Coco.

The vast Sierra Maestra mountain range outside Santiago de Cuba

The journey from Havana to Santiago de Cuba — from where Fidel Castro launched his revolution — will take a bit longer. By bus up to 18-20 hours, shorter (and a lot pricier) if you book a taxi.

I have done that bus journey, and it went surprisingly well!

Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city in Cuba. For a while, it also was the capital, and this is where Fidel Castro was when they succeeded in overthrowing Batista in 1958.

It is also close to Guantanamo, the naval base owned by the US due to the agreement that was signed after the Spanish-American war in 1902.

Here you find gorgeous architecture and lots of history, as well as a more noticeably Caribbean feel, with the proximity to Haiti and other eastern Caribbean islands.

Also read: Causes Of The Cuban Revolution | A Series Of Events!

11. Are Americans Allowed In Cuba?

Yes, the Cuban government allows American citizens to visit their country.

The restrictions on travel to Cuba for US citizens are imposed by American authorities due to the current political situation.

There are 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba as an American, where you need no extra permission or paperwork before your journey.

The regulations also dictate where you can stay and where you can spend your money.

So, American citizens can travel to Cuba in 2022, and your US passport is valid in Cuba in combination with a pink Cuban Tourist Card.

Plaza Mayor in UNESCO protected colonial Trinidad Cuba
Plaza Mayor in UNESCO protected colonial Trinidad Cuba

12. Do I need a passport to go to Cuba?

Yes. Any traveler visiting Cuba will need a valid passport.

Your passport needs to be valid for at least six more months from your entry date.

Please be sure to check the expiration date of your passport, and if need be, renew your passport if it is nearing expiration.

13. Can people leave Cuba?

Yes, formally and legally, people can leave Cuba, but for a Cuban national to leave Cuba will, in reality, be very difficult.

A Cuban wanting to travel out of Cuba for whatever reason will need a passport (expensive), a visa to the country he or she is going (tricky), and often prove with bank statements that they have sufficient funds and a job to return to.

A bit of a challenge in a country with largely a cash economy where a lot of people don’t have bank accounts or valid international credit cards and are often paid daily or regularly in cash.

So although the Cuban government no longer imposes strict restriction on the Cuban population, a lot of factors make it close to impossible for a Cuban to venture out of the country.

Cigar making and testing in Vinales Cuba
Cigar making and testing in Vinales Cuba

14. Why Did The US Give Up Cuba?

Well, the US never really owned Cuba, so they never really gave up Cuba.

But after the Spanish-American war in the late 20th Century, the US had a treaty with Cuba.

This allowed for considerable US influence over domestic relations in the new Cuban nation, which really did not have any formal independence after the war, although that was the intention.

After the revolution in December 1958 and the rise of Fidel Castro to power, relations, and trade cooperation deteriorated rapidly – and then seized in the early 60ies.

As a result of Castro’s domestic reforms and, subsequently, the shut-off of American business, the Cuban government increased cooperation with the Soviet Union.

Then, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in January 1961.

The lush green Vinales Valley west in Cuba
The lush green Vinales Valley west in Cuba

15. Did America Go To War With Cuba?

The Spanish–American War in 1898 was a period of armed conflict between Spain and the United States after the explosion that sank the USS Maine in Havana Harbor in Cuba.

This led to the United States’ intervention in the Cuban War of Independence, with the objective of helping Cuba become independent from Spain.

So, the US never went to war with Cuba but rather with colonial Spain.

Also, in 1961, a unit of exiled Cubans tried to invade Cuba with the support of the CIA to throw Castro but failed, which was perceived as a huge triumph for Castro and his regime.

16. Lastly: Are Cuba Beaches Nice?

A hotel beach in Varadero

Yes, Cuban beaches are AMAZING!

In fact, Cuba is famous for its breathtaking beaches, and Varadero Beach was even voted the world’s second most beautiful beach on TripAdvisor in 2019.

With their turquoise water and sugary white sand, you are bound to be swept away.

If you want to visit an island with perfect spots for snorkeling, scuba diving, and generally having a good Caribbean-mode time, Cuban beaches will not let you down!

Wrap-Up What Continent Is Cuba On!

So now we know that Cuba is an island, or rather an archipelago, technically belonging to North America, but is a Latin culture country in the northern Caribbean!

I hope this quick Q&A article gave you some more insight into Cuba that you did not know before! And maybe a desire to find out more, and visit!

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments about Cuba, in general, or your next destination in particular.

There is no place in the world quite like Cuba, for better or worse, and it will be an experience of a lifetime!

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Best Airfare bookings: Skyscanner, Wayaway

Best tour companies: Civitatis (for Cuba), Viator

Best Hotel Bookings: Booking, Expedia

Travel Insurance: IMG Medical Travel Insurance

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Cuba Visa Online: Easy Tourist Card

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