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A Liturgical Landmark: Cabo’s Catholic Church Is One of the City’s Few Architectural Monuments

Cabo San Lucas is not known for its architectural monuments. The city does not boast a rich colonial legacy, and there are few buildings of any historical consequence–certainly nothing to compare with sister city San Jose del Cabo’s lovely colonial-style cathedral Misión de San José del Cabo Anuiti, or her 19th century City Hall with its murals depicting important events in the area’s development. However, the city does have a few notable buildings: the old cannery, the Casa de la Cultura, and, most importantly, the Iglesia Catolica de San Lucas (Cabo’s Catholic Church).

The church interior blends simplicity with traditional iconography.

Iglesia de San Lucas evokes the earliest period of the Jesuit missions in Baja California Sur, when missionaries like Padre Nicolas Tamaral were seeking to convert the native inhabitants of the area, the Pericu Indians. Tamaral wasn’t terribly successful in his conversion efforts. The natives unceremoniously killed him in 1734, apparently unwilling to accept his ban against polygamy. But despite Tamaral’s untimely end, the Catholic churches in both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are testaments to the priest’s deep devotion and single-minded sense of purpose.

The church boasts a place of honor near the main square, Plaza Amelia Wilkes, and perhaps more than other tourist attraction in Cabo San Lucas, offers a window into the religious and cultural life of the city’s inhabitants. It is open to visitors on a daily basis, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with masses held every Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (8:30 a.m., noon, and 7 p.m.). The noon mass on Sunday is performed in both English and Spanish. In addition to services, the church also plays an important role during festivals and religious holidays.

 

A view of the church from Cabo’s main square, Plaza Amelia Wilkes.

General Information

Where To Go – Iglesia Catolica de San Lucas is on Calle Cabo San Lucas, between Emiliano Zapata and Francisco Madero. It sits just off Cabo’s main square, Plaza Amelia Wilkes.

What to Bring – A healthy sense of respect, particularly in matters of dress. Casual clothing items such as t-shirts, shorts, and sandals are not considered appropriate.

Cost – The church is open to visitors daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no admission fee.

Contact Information – For additional information, contact the church at (624) 143-2666.

Have you been to Iglesia Catolica de San Lucas?  What did you think?  What are some other unique architectural experiences in Cabo?  Share with us in the comments below.

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About Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the author of Bohemia by the Bay, and writes about wine, golf, and travel for publications such as Baja.com, Los Cabos Guide, Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, and USA Today. He is a full-time resident of Cabo San Lucas.

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