Lakeside Guide to Lake Chapala, Ajijic, Mexico

Mexican National Chili Cookoff

At a Glance

This three-day weekend event with chili, music & vendors has been a part of Ajijic for over 40 years.

More Info

This national-level chili festival has been a part of this small town, believe it or not, for 41 years now.

The main draw is each day’s competition where local restaurants and home chefs serve samples of their best bowls of chili.

Dozens of artisans, artists and vendors come from all over Jalisco and other parts of Mexico to sell their goods here all weekend. Lots of food, besides chili, is also served. And a roster of musicians and dancers, such as traditional balet folclórico, round out the entertainment.

Go and just watch or enter the competition yourself. There is also a margarita and salsa competition.

There is a small entry fee for the event and a separate fee if you want to enter the tasting or compete. The competition is a fundraiser for local charities that raised around $300,000 pesos in 2017.

2019 Mexican National Chili Cookoff Information

The 2019 National Chili Cookoff will be February 15-17 from 11 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Tobolandia in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

Last updated January 29, 2019

Dane Strom

Dane Strom The Lakeside Guide

I moved to Ajijic in 2010 when I decided to quit my job of seven years as an editorial assistant at The Denver Post in Colorado. I'm the photographer, web designer, programmer, marketer, writer... the everything behind this website, The Lakeside Guide. All of the businesses on this website appear here for free at no cost to them. If you find this site useful, please consider giving a small donation to become a site patron. Learn more about The Lakeside Guide or check out my other website about photography of Mexico.

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Photos of Mexican National Chili Cookoff

The Mexican National Chili Cookoff takes place at Tobolandia each February in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

The Mexican National Chili Cookoff takes place at Tobolandia each February in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

The main attraction is the chili competition which occurs each day.

The main attraction is the chili competition which occurs each day.

For a small fee, you can sample a number of chilis. All proceeds go to local charities.

For a small fee, you can sample a number of chilis. All proceeds go to local charities.

There's entertainment each day in the form of music and dance performances.

There's entertainment each day in the form of music and dance performances.

And other food is for sale throughout the weekend like burgers, hot dogs, pizza and BBQ.

And other food is for sale throughout the weekend like burgers, hot dogs, pizza and BBQ.

Fine Art Photography of Lake Chapala

Dance of the Niño Dormido

Dance of the Sleeping Child

A father & daughter perform an ancient dance from Mexico’s southernmost state, Chiapas.

Purchase This Fine Art Print
Purchase This Fine Art Print
The BBQ stand with ribs for sale and proceeds going to Niños Incapacitados.

The BBQ stand with ribs for sale and proceeds going to Niños Incapacitados.

Vendors from all over Jalisco and other states go to the Mexican National Chili Cookoff to sell their goods.

Vendors from all over Jalisco and other states go to the Mexican National Chili Cookoff to sell their goods.

Handcrafted knives by Rodrígo Aguirre.

Handcrafted knives by Rodrígo Aguirre.

Glass and metal jewelry by José Duran.

Glass and metal jewelry by José Duran.

Jewelry for sale made by 'Los Alexes' de La Peña de Santos Ricos.

Jewelry for sale made by "Los Alexes" de La Peña de Santos Rico.

A girl competes in a contest for best catrina dressed as a bride in the main plaza in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Jalisco, Mexico.

The Day of the Dead in Jalisco, Mexico

See this Photo Essay
See this Photo Essay
There is plenty to browse through for an hour.

There is plenty to browse through for an hour.

Mexican National Chili Cookoff
Mexican National Chili Cookoff
Pottery masks and wall decorations for sale.

Pottery masks and wall decorations for sale.

Leather bags, armadillo shell bags, handbags, leather bracelets, necklaces, earrings.

Leather bags, armadillo shell bags, handbags, leather bracelets, necklaces, earrings.

Hand-embroidered fabrics and clothes sold by Bordado y Artesanias.

Hand-embroidered fabrics and clothes sold by Bordado y Artesanías.

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