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Santo Domingo de Guzmán Church (Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán)
Santo Domingo de Guzmán Church (Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán)

Santo Domingo de Guzmán Church (Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán)

Calle Constitución #101 Centro, Oaxaca, Mexico

The Basics

Founded in the late 1500s by the Dominican Order, Santo Domingo is perhaps the best of Oaxaca’s many religious edifices. That, combined with its central location, make it a staple on pretty much every Oaxaca city tour, regardless of duration or theme. You can admire the church both inside and out independently, but the insight of a local guide can provide key context you wouldn’t hear otherwise. Highlights include the ornate chapel ceilings and open-air cloister hallways.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Oaxaca

star-5
Excellent Introduction to Oaxaca
Lise_G, Feb 2020
City Tour Santo Domingo/Alcalá/mercados/chocolate (Walking tour)
Gabriel gave a terrific walking tour of the history of Oaxaca and its people. He was well versed and engaging. I'd highly recommend this tour for a first day in the city as it helps orient you to the grid layout. It's also a great tour to have following a tour of Monte Alban. Got a couple of tailored recommendations from Gabriel based on my interest (Mixtec cuisine and gold filigree jewelry). Thanks for a great morning!
star-4
Walking Tour of El Centro
John_B, Feb 2020
City Tour Santo Domingo/Alcalá/mercados/chocolate (Walking tour)
Very good tour with our Guide Moses. He was very personable and gave an entertaining and informative tour of the main attractions in El Centro. I would recommend this tour.
star-5
A walking tour of historical district
Maria N, Nov 2019
City Tour Santo Domingo/Alcalá/mercados/chocolate (Walking tour)
I had a little surprise as description didn't mention that excursion is all walking - that is 3,5 hours. Mostly because the areas that we visited aren't accessible by transport. I came prepared and I had good time. Our guide Antonio did great job managing a bi-lingual group.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Santo Domingo is a staple of Oaxaca sightseeing and must-visit for all travelers in the city.

  • The cactus-lined courtyard out front of the church is a great spot for taking those quintessential vacation photos.

  • This is a working place of worship; dress and act appropriately when visiting the church’s interior.

  • Photos inside the church are prohibited when mass and other services are in progress.

  • Santo Domingo is accessible for wheelchair users, as there’s usually a ramp at the entrance.

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How to Get There

The Templo de Santo Domingo is situated within easy walking distance of most downtown Oaxaca attractions, just off the “tourist corridor” of Calle Alcalá. Most easily reached on foot, you can also get there by private vehicle; keep in mind that parking in Oaxaca downtown is mostly streetside and it can be tough to find a space. Almost every city tour at least passes by the church.

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When to Get There

Spectacular both day and night, the church comes to life during the daily services. Time your visit to catch part of mass and enjoy the interior without the crowds of worshippers. Otherwise, stop by in the evening, as the sun is setting, to see the exterior lit up. Weekends and national holidays are always busiest at Santo Domingo; arrive early in the morning midweek to get tourist-free snaps of the exterior.

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Oaxaca Culture Museum and the Ethnobotanical Garden

Santo Domingo Church neighbors two other top Oaxaca attractions, the Oaxaca Culture Museum and the Ethnobotanical Garden. Visit the former independently and learn more about the history of this complex and fascinating state, or stop by the latter for a guided tour of the grounds, which are replete with native flora such as cacti, medicinal herbs, and spiky agaves.

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