Mission San Xavier del Bac
Mission San Xavier del Bac
4.5
Architectural BuildingsMissionsReligious Sites
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Built in the 1700s, this recently restored white adobe church, representing a wonderful example of Spanish colonial architecture, is beautiful inside and out, with colorful frescoes, sculptures and carvings.
Duration: < 1 hour
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What is Travelers’ Choice?
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  • scott r
    Silver Spring, Maryland737 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very pretty and inspiring to see what the faithful were able to do so long ago in the middle of nowhere
    the Spanish Missions are always impressive and this is one of the nicer ones. The interior is stunning and you are free to move about respectfully. Unlike some others, there is not much on view aside from the main church and smaller shrine. (Museum exhibit, whatever it is, was closed this day) Did not feel the need to take the tour and snippets overheard suggest that might have been a wise choice.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written October 6, 2023
  • roberthhunter
    Tucson, Arizona380 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible 1700s Spanish Mission Church
    A must-see if you're in Tucson. This first mission in Arizona features a late 1700s Spanish church, the interior adorned as richly as churches you find in Spain from the same period. The mission itself is on the Tohono Odham reservation and there is a nice gift shop and beverage plaza and outdoor marketplace nearby. Admission is free.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 24, 2023
  • Patrick O
    Mount Holly, North Carolina1,129 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful church inside and out!
    This mission has a beautiful church with a magnificent main altar and beautiful side altars. The exterior and interior of the church are well maintained and offer wonderful photo opportunities. Near the parking area, local vendors had booths with items for sale and the gift shop is very nice. There is also a market area adjacent to the parking area that we did not go to, but looked interesting to explore. Remember this is an active congregation so exhibit reverence when inside and respect the rules if mass is in session. Well worth a stop!
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written December 29, 2023
  • lotsagoldens
    921 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful restoration
    This is the oldest European-made structure on American soil. Once you get past the idea of the missionaries forcefully converting the native people and making them build this structure, you can admire it for what it is. Which is a stunning church in the "middle of nowhere." There are docent let tours, and you can hike up the hill to see an old cemetery. The restoration has been and still is dependent on contributions.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 20, 2024
  • Ashley Z
    35 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If you have not gone here go ASAP! Please respect!
    I lived in Arizona my whole life till about 2016. I go back every four months or so, I always come back here! I used to live close and even when I didn't I would always be here! Check out everything you can here! The fry bread is amazing! Check out the store and the mountain and the stores and food across by parking! Def by a candle and say a prayer! Forever my spiritual place!
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 7, 2024
  • Mel S
    Santa Barbara, California116 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the trip to Tucson in itself
    The people of San Xavier are truly blessed to have such a beautiful and holy place to worship. The establishment dates from the end of the 17th c. and the present building, "la Paloma blanca del Desierto", was constructed towards the end of the 18th c. It is magnificent inside and out. It is a place of pilgrimage, and I think every visitor if they open their hearts becomes a pilgrim here. Come for the spectacular late Baroque architecture and stay for the holiness.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written March 13, 2024
  • Barry and Nicol... G
    Reading, United Kingdom1,185 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning Catholic Mission.
    The mission San Xavier Del Bac has got to be one of the finest examples of Spanish architecture in all of the USA. It is truly a stunning Catholic mission. Originally founded in 1692, this structure dates back to 1797. Its a special place that has been touched by god, so please treat it as such.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 2, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Betsi B
Weatherford, TX288 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
When we arrived, there was a funeral happening which meant we had to explore and were so glad! A PBS documentary narrated by Tucson native Linda Ronstadt was playing in a small room in the back courtyard. It told the history of the amazing renovation that has happened there. I would highly recommend doing the small museum and video BEFORE entering the chapel for a full appreciation of what you will be seeing. This mission is a must see! Only a few minutes from downtown.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa V
San Diego, CA91 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Do not eat before venturing forth to this historic landmark. Plenty of parking, but, again, go early. Do not miss the fascinating and educational tour led my one of the local O'odham native people. Save timetoperuse more closely the main sanctuary and it's art and artifacts as well as the smaller outside building that was once the mortuary. Look for the twin figurines set off to the side in a little bowl. Perfect little sanctuary to light a candle in remembrance of someone special....bring a couple fo dollars for donation. The adjoining hillside has another devotion as well as a glorious view of the surrounding area. Finish your visit with a delicious meal of fry bread handmade onsite in the front courtyard by several families of the local O'odham peoples; savory for lunch and sweet for dessert.
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NYU62
Tucson, AZ18,246 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
We had visited this Mission twice before, and, each time, it was super windy, and dust would be blowing all over the parking lot, so, we would pop into the Church, and then, head directly back to the car. Never did we spend any time on the grounds. Yesterday, (3/12), there seemed to be no wind anywhere, and, on this Saturday, we decided to drive down and visit.

It seems that it was built in a very windy area, for as soon as we got out of the car, the wind hit us. Luckily, it was a warm day, so the wind was not chilly. For a Saturday, surprisingly, there were not that many people, and we were able to enter the Mission within five minutes. They permit 14 visitors at a time, and you are allowed to spend 5 minutes inside. Masks must be worn in the Church, the Chapels, The Gift Store, and when buying food from a shack outside. Inside the Mission, people were lighting candles, taking photos, and admiring the altar. We loved the frescoes, and spent our allotted time discussing them.

Afterwards, we walked around the surrounding grounds of the Mission, and then, walked over to the first food vendor, (there were four) where we treated ourselves to Fry Bread. So incredibly good, and so incredibly inexpensive. I bought one Cheese, ($3.00) and one with honey and powdered sugar ($3.00). We had planned on this, so brought paper plates, napkins, and sparkling water from home. There are, somewhat sheltered, concrete benches not too far away, and that is where we had our "picnic". We split each Fry Bread, and it was enough for our lunch. They provide good paper napkins, so we, really, did not need ours, but the paper plates were a help.

I am not sure if the long line at the first food vendor was because they were the closest, or because their Fry Bread is so good. It was truly delicious, and we ate every crumb.
Written March 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travelfilter
Rowe, MA78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
My husband and I have lived in Tucson for nearly four decades, yet he had never been to Mission San Xavier del Bac. Since we had just finished a late breakfast at the new location of Cafe Santa Rosa (native American food), we decided to drive out to the Mission to take a look around. We arrived just before a docent led tour was to begin. While I have been to San Xavier many times, I had never been with a tour. Led by a Native American, lots of local information as well as the historical information about San Xavier was shared in a very good story telling way. This is a living church, not a museum (although there is a museum on the grounds complete with an introductory video) where church services occur weekly several times. Most of the parishioners are members of the Tohono Odam tribe on whose land the Mission is located.
Aside from the mission itself, there are Native American food stands and crafts sold in the older cactus rib structures in the plaza in front of the Mission or a new structure of shops a bit further away on the property.
Having a Native docent who grew up on the reservation with knowledge of his people is a big plus.
This is definitely a MUST GO. The docent talks are free as is admission to the Mission.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Monica58860
Dousman, WI1,382 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Couples
A gorgeous example of early Spanish history. Unbelievably beautiful Make it a point to visit There is a restoration under way but it is not going to affect the visit. Lots of parking available. Plan to visit by 2pm due to changed hours by Covd means wear masks
Written November 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathleen H
Dover, New Hampshire23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Visited Tucson and was taken to the mission by my sister in law who said it was beautiful to see. Six of us took the free tour by the very informed guides. He showed us the beautiful architecture and told stories that went back hundreds of years. It was definitely a tour that we all enjoyed, as many of the statues and paintings were preserved from hundreds of years ago!
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carlos T
Mansfield, TX707 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Couples
This is the first time visiting this church and the overall experience was very good! Part of the church is undergoing renovation. A limited number of people are allowed inside at any time. The church it self is beautiful! Worth a visit! Plenty of parking is available.
Written April 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

flosventure
Arizona187 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
The mission is always nice to see. It's nice to see it while you're driving out there and it's a very scenic place that gives photographers numerous possibilities for amazing shots. I'd recommend going there for sunset and walk up the small hill on the right side, catching some good shots with the sun setting behind the mission and with the lion statue on the hill. I've also gone to mass in there which is pretty cool because the acoustics are very unique. Great place!
Written October 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Valhan76
Pensacola, FL30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Family
I was taken back with the beauty of this place. It wasn’t far from where we were staying and we spent about 2 hours there looking at the beautiful architecture of the building and how intricate everything was. We didn’t have a guide, but there was a your going on and listened to the history of this place. My son even enjoyed our time there. It was educational and awe inspiring! Definitely recommended.
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

elizabethwP4206ME
Lubbock, TX73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Family
This was a fantastic place for me to take my teenage son to talk about the expansion of Christianity and cost associated with it. It helped spark a very deep thought provoking conversation. It is truly inspiring and spiritual place to visit.
Written April 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson

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