Santo Tomas kyrka (Iglesia de Santo Tomás)
Santo Tomas kyrka (Iglesia de Santo Tomás)

Santo Tomas kyrka (Iglesia de Santo Tomás)

5a Avenida, Chichicastenango

The basics

Though its exterior and interior are somewhat unremarkable, the Santo Tomas Church offers a unique cultural experience. The church is a focal point of the town’s religious ceremonies and traditional festivities. Most tours to Chichicastenango visit the church, along with the neighboring town of Panajachel. For more indigenous culture (and outstanding souvenirs), visit the nearby Chichicastenango Market, one of the country’s most colorful shopping opportunities.

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Things to know before you go

  • The church is an active place of worship, so be respectful of ongoing religious ceremonies.

  • Make sure that your shoulders and knees are covered before entering the church.

  • Check the local calendar for annual festivals happening at the church. While the area will be more crowded, travelers can enjoy an immersive cultural experience.

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How to get there

The Santo Tomas Church is located in the heart of Chichicastenango, a bustling market town in the Guatemalan highlands. The most convenient way to reach the church is by joining a guided tour of Chichicastenango or hiring a private driver from Guatemala City or Antigua. These comfortable and efficient options allow you to maximize your time in the historic city.

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When to get there

To fully experience the vibrant atmosphere of Santo Tomas Church and the surrounding market, it is recommended to visit on Thursdays and Sundays when the market takes place. These days offer the opportunity to witness lively traditions, vibrant colors, and local Mayan rituals. Arriving early allows you to avoid large crowds and fully immerse yourself in the town’s spiritual ambiance.

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What to see in Chichicastenango’s colorful graveyard

Just a few minutes' walk from Santo Tomas Church, visitors you’ll find the Chichicastenango Cemetery (Cementerio De Chichicastenango), where tombs, headstones, and memorials are painted in a rainbow of colors. The graves, spanning hundreds of years, depict a celebration of life rather than a place of mourning. You can safely explore the cemetery during daylight hours.

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