Santo Domingo de Guzmán Church (Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Casa Crespo
- Oaxaca Culture Museum (Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca)
- Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Garden (Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca)
- Benito Juárez Home (Casa de Benito Juárez)
- 20 de Noviembre Market (Mercado 20 de Noviembre)
- Cacaluta Bay (Bahia de Cacaluta)
- Abastos Market (Central de Abastos)
- La Ventanilla
- Benito Juarez Market (Mercado Benito Juarez)
- Tamayo Museum (Museo Tamayo)
- Monte Albán
- Cascadas de Llano Grande (Llano Grande Waterfalls)
- San Antonio Arrazola
- Tule Tree (Arbol del Tule)
- Cuilapam Convent (Ex Convento de Cuilápam)