We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
WINNER WONDERLAND
Win Big When You Book on TripAdvisor

Santo Tomas Church

Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: Plaza Mayor, Chichicastenango 14006, Guatemala
Phone Number: +502 5659 3992
Website
Description:

Mayans enter through the front door, but others are relegated to the side...

Mayans enter through the front door, but others are relegated to the side door of this unusual 1540 church which combines Catholic and Mayan spiritual practices.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
US$60.00*
and up
Full Day Tour: Chichicastenango Maya Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City
More Info
US$74.98*
and up
Chichicastenago and Panajachel Day Trip from Guatemala City
More Info
US$109.99*
and up
Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 175 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 51
    Excellent
  • 24
    Very good
  • 12
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
This is a must-see

The church is like no other I've seen except for the creepy St Juan Chamina. It has cloth drapes from ceiling, is dark with lots of idols of saints, floor covered in pine leaves... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
Alan H
,
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

175 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 89: English reviews
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
215 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The church is like no other I've seen except for the creepy St Juan Chamina. It has cloth drapes from ceiling, is dark with lots of idols of saints, floor covered in pine leaves, has a notable lack of figures of Christ and sacraments and hosts Mayans and shamans performing very unusual ceremonies with candles, incense and chickens. The local... More 

Helpful?
Thank Alan H
Auckland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This church is a bit different to others, inside was plain and photos not permitted. It is a church that accepts both the local belief and the Catholic beliefs a kind of combination going on which is always good to see. The steps have flower sellers on them as the flowers are given by the worshippers.

Helpful?
Thank Lyndama
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Once inside, I almost choked to death on all the smoke from burning candles and smoke censers.....Catholics and pagans worship separate dieties in the same sanctuary, at the same time.

Helpful?
Thank Bev F
Cottonwood, Arizona
Level Contributor
79 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2016

This church is located at one of the twice a week Chichicastenango market. It is unique in that it is a Catholic church built on top of a sacred Mayan site. Inside the church you will see a combination of Mayan and Catholic traditions. Outside there is always a sacred Mayan fire smoldering and the smell of insence fills the... More 

Helpful?
Thank GailBash
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
99 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2016 via mobile

Small church. Not much going on and we took all of 2 minutes literally to see the inside and courtyard and take a few pics out front. If you see the Chichi market you will see this church no matter what.

Helpful?
Thank 56003Richard
Roztoky, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
42 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2016

Travelling Guatemala there is a "must" stop in small Indian willage Chichicastenango and if you are lucky you will go there when local market is open watched over by snow white Santo Tomas church!

Helpful?
Thank Andrej1952
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2016 via mobile

Visiting here early on a Sunday (before the shuttles arrive) will give you the best perspective to see local culture and life including the padres performing mass and vendors hawking their wares.

Helpful?
Thank Randall B
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
87 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2016

To get the full experience of the blending of Mayan traditional beliefs and Catholic belief get to the church early on Sunday as the fire, smoke and flowers of the Maya engulf the steps of the Church in what seems to be chaotic activity. Then enter the Church (through the side door) and see how the traditional carries over into... More 

Helpful?
Thank The B
Level Contributor
80 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2016

You must navigate the intense market and climb the steps to find a bit of peace inside the church or behind the doors on the church grounds. The old historic church has both Catholic and Mayan shaman practicing their faith at the same time. They have figured out how to live in harmony. It's worth the visit.

Helpful?
Thank donna s
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2016

It's a very mystical and historical place. Energy is all around and you will enjoy visiting that if you are believer or not.

Helpful?
Thank dotzoy

Travellers who viewed Santo Tomas Church also viewed

Chichicastenango, El Quiche Department
Chichicastenango, El Quiche Department
 
Chichicastenango, El Quiche Department
Lake Atitlan, Solola Department
 

Been to Santo Tomas Church? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Santo Tomas Church staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?