He was born on July 21st, 1802, in Missik, a location that was Polish in those days (in currently belongs to Belarus). His parents were Hipolito Domeyko and Karolyn Ankuba.
He studied at the University of Vilna, graduating with a degree in Physical Sciences and Math. In 1831, he had to emigrate in exile to Paris after the defeat of the Polish against Russian domination. In that city, he studied at the Mine School.
He arrived to Chile in 1838 after being hired by mining engineer Carlos Lambert -as petitioned by the government of Jose Joaquin Prieto- to work as a teacher of Chemistry and Mineralogy at the Coquimbo school. In this place, he revolutionized the teaching of mining, as he made theoretical lessons and in field and lab practices compatible.
Between 1840 and 1856, after finishing his teaching work in Coquimbo, Domeyko took several trips to different parts of the country. On these expeditions, he described the geological structures present in vast areas of Chile.
When he was thinking of returning to Poland (1847), the government managed to hold on to him, hiring him as a professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy at the National Institute.
Later, he taught the Physics course at this same establishment. In 1866, he was elected member of the faculty of Philosophy and Liberal Arts of the Universidad de Chile, to later take over the position of chancellor, where he remained until 1883. In this position, he managed to transform the faculty of Physical Sciences and Math into a school that created engineers.
Between 1884 and 1888 he went on a trip to Holy Land, the Vatican and Poland. Shortly after returning to the country, he passed away in Santiago on January 23rd, 1889.