International Events

This may be a small island, but we never get bored, as there are so many things to do in Cozumel, moreover, the island also hosts half a dozen International events!

The Ironman

Since 2009, Cozumel is on the official world’s list of cities hosting an Ironman international competition. As many people know, the Ironman is a brutal triathlon contest in which athletes have to swim 2.4 miles (3.86 km), ride their bikes for 112 miles (180.2 km) and run a full marathon of 26.2 miles (42.2 km), a total of stunning 140.6 miles … and everything on the same day, in fact, it takes an Ironman winner around 8hr to complete the Cozumel edition of the trial, which counts for 40 automatic selection passes to the world’s annual final in Hawaii. Every year more than 2000 contestants over go this ruthless test. The city participates every year with contesters, official judges, volunteers and the best of all, families coming outside their houses with tables and seats to cheer the brave contenders. The yearly appointment is usually held in the last week of November.

If you think that running an Ironman is simply too much, but you are still eager to participate in a triathlon, perhaps you should rather try the half version of it, “only a few” 70.3 miles, exactly the halfway of each part of a regular Ironman. That is why the test is called 70.3. This shorter version is held in September, and it usually welcomes about 2500 contestants from all over the world. A kids’ version takes place along and is known as the Ironkid.


GFNY is an acronym standing for “Gran Fondo New York”, which is a one-day, 100-mile (160km) cycling challenge designed and ran at the style of the “Classic” cycling contests in Europe such as the legendaries Paris-Roubaix in France, or the Milan-San Remo in Italy.

The race started in New York in 2011, and it rapidly developed into a global cycling series contest with more than 15 different locations around the world. The race is actually a team competition taking into account the 4 best times of each team to win and qualify for the yearly world’s final race in New York on the 3rd Sunday of May.

The GFNY Cozumel has become the most international cycling contest in Mexico. Athletes from more than 50 countries ride around the island, twice. The bitter-sweet section of the circuit is the 20-mile long road along the uninhabited eastern coast, its beauty is tricky, as cyclists face there a steady breeze against.

If you are not a long distance cyclist but still interested in living the experience, you should try the half-way test; it does not account for the international series, however, allows you to pedal shoulder to shoulder with the stars, at least for a while. Date: second Sunday of November.


Cozumel is one of the few places worldwide hosting an Oceanman Competition. It is the only World Championship in open waters, offering swimmers to achieve their personal goals in extraordinary locations, for their beauty and sea conditions. The race caters for beginners and elite professionals in three different Distance Categories, the Oceanman (between 6 and 14km/3.5-8.5 mi), the Half Oceanman (between 3.5 and 5km/2.1-3 mi), and the Amateur (between 1 and 2km/0.6-1.2 mi). Anyone older than 5 can participate, however only the first 10 women and first 10 men finishing an OCEANMAN or a HALF OCEANMAN automatically classify for the Oceanman Worldwide Championship in Benidorm, Spain.

In Cozumel, the competition takes place at Playa Mia Grand Beach Park, undeniably the best place to host an event of this proportion as it is the largest and most complete beach facility on the island. Competition is usually scheduled for the first Sunday of August.

Rodeo de Lanchas Mexicanas Billfish tournament

This billfish tournament is not only Cozumel’s major fishing event, but it is also the oldest and most important fishing tournament along the Caribbean shores of the eastern state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The tournament is also the best payout with more than 1.3 million pesos in prizes for the top 9 best total catches out of more than 200 participants, as an example, the 2017 winning team, Ocean Fly, caught a 238.5lb (108.18kg) blue marlin and won a brand new Mercedes-Benz. Everyone is welcome to participate, no matter what is your age, gender or nationality. Fishermen from the coasts around the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern coast of Florida gather here to participate in this two-day fiesta starting the second Saturday of May having the Governor to shoot the traditional blank.

Scuba Fest

Since 2012, the annual Cozumel Scuba Fest is the only international diving festival in Mexico. It is a project organized by the Cozumel Council of Tourist Promotion with the aim of popularizing the submarine attractions of the island and promote its conservation. The event involves different levels of government, companies, researchers, professional divers, amateurs and diving enthusiasts who exchange experiences, assist to conferences, have fun, dive of course and also participate in a submarine photo contest. Along these years, the event has been the setting for the creation of the award-winning feature film “Cozumel, a paradise in the Mayan Caribbean”, the creation of the Underwater Museum of the Golden Diver, and the immersion of the sculpture ZOE which is an technology-assisted project that aims to create a coral habitat and a virtual aquarium.

Encore, a little bit more

Is that it? Not at all. Every year different international organizations select Cozumel to host their events, some examples of this had been, the World’s High Dive Championship in 2015, where the highest dive reached the 27 meters (88.5 ft.). The Ultramarathon 50 Km (31 miles) jungle trekking race crosses the island along through the jungle of the island, different editions have been running here. One world classification championship of the International Triathlon Union had also Cozumel to frame its event once.

In 2004 and 2015 The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) had celebrated its international Cruise Conference & Trade Show.

For years Cozumel hosted the Cozumel’s International Air Show featuring star pilots from many countries; they use to practice their breathtaking stunts over the city for at least a week before the big day. Some of the colorful airplanes were authentic pieces of art.

The recent state’s Surf Championship took place here in Cozumel, and it promises to bring more fun and thrill in the years to come.

Cozumel leads the windsurfing in Mexico. Two top figures of this sport, Nilo Dzib and Demita Vega, who had represented Mexico at the Olympics, are proud Cozumel locals. Some of the races that take place on the island are sanctioned by the Mexican Windsurfing Association, the Mexican sailing federation, and even the International Windsurfing Association.

To top the list, Cozumel’s Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus designed 18 holes course, is the first and only golf course in Mexico acknowledged by the Audubon’s Bird Watching Association. It organizes frequent bird watching tours to spot the flying fauna and look for endemic species such as the Cozumel Emerald (Chlorostilbon fortificatus), the Cozumel Vireo (Vireo Bairdi), and the Cozumel Trasher (Toxostoma guttatum) which reportedly was seen in 2004 for the last time.




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