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Santo Tomas Church

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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.

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Book In Advance
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US$60.00*
and up
Full Day Tour: Chichicastenango Maya Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City
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US$85.00*
and up
Day Trip to Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City or Antigua
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US$109.99*
and up
Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 180 reviews
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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 16 November 2016
Alan H
,
London, United Kingdom
via mobile

180 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 90: English reviews
Evanston, Illinois
Level Contributor
306 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Nothing particularly special, at least to me, about the structure. But poke your head it to see people combining Mayan with Catholic ritual.

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
226 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2016 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 

Auckland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2016

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.

Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2016

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.

Cottonwood, Arizona
Level Contributor
82 reviews
38 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 

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
111 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 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.

Roztoky, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
43 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 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!

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.

Washington, DC
Level Contributor
99 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 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 

Level Contributor
80 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 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.

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