Undoubtedly, few regions in Guatemala have been the scene of so many historical events as Lake Atitl�n, both before and after the Spanish Conquest. This historical wealth is well documented in texts and chronicles, among them the Memorial of Solol�, an important Indian document on the migration and first settlements in the Guatemalan highlands, principally in the basin of the lake. Many of the places to which the Memorial refers still bear the same names. Both the True History of the Conquest of New Spain, by the Spanish chronicler Bernal D�az del Castillo, and Florid Memories, by Francisco Fuentes y Guzm�n, refer to the history of this region at the time of the Conquest.

However, in addition to the scenic, geological and historical importance of the lake, the region is an outstanding cultural universe. Its inhabitants, belonging to the Maya Kaqchiquel, Tzutujil, and Quich� groups, keep alive their cultures, the manifestations of which can be admired by the visitor. The greater part of the towns around the lake are of pre-Hispanic origin, such as Santiago Atitl�n and its old settlement, Chuitinamit, but the layout now goes back to the Colonial period.

Handicraft; The people living on the shores of Lake Atitlan are famous for their artisan crafts. As in the rest of the highlands of Guatemala, textiles are outstanding for their color and variety of designs, which distinguish one town from the other. For example, although only four miles separate Santa Catarina Palop� from San Antonio Palop�, the color of dress varies from deep blue to scarlet red.
Wood carvings depicting people in daily activity are also outstanding, as are the works of popular painters who have given fame to the place and to San Pedro La Laguna in plastic art throughout the world.
Markets; The colors of the different towns of Lake Atitlan blend on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which are market days in Solol�. Traders, who come to offer the products produced where they live; vegetables, fruits, dry fish, ropes, baskets, set up their businesses on the streets. Those who come from faraway towns and villages take the opportunity to arrange
administrative matters or go to church, filling the streets with hustling and bustling. To the south of Lake Atitlan, in Santiago and San Pedro La Laguna, colorful markets are held by the Tzutujils, famous as traders from pre-Hispanic times.

In the mountainous Department of Solol�, in the Guatemalan highlands, there is the famous Lake Atitlan which the English writer Aldous Huxley called "the most beautiful in the world". With a surface area of 50 square miles and at an altitude of
5155 feet, the lake takes on the beauty of three volcanoes, Atitl�n, San Pedro and Toliman, whose summits surpass 10,000 feet above sea level. Their cones, covered with pine and wide leaf forests, are a refuge for endangered plants and animals.
According to geologists, Lake Atitl�n is one of the most interesting geological-volcanic accidents on the planet. In the past 15 million years three juxtaposed volcanic calderas have been generated in this place, but the most recent goes back 85,000 years. The lake was formed following a gigantic eruption which was a veritable catastrophe for most of the present territory of Guatemala, eradicating almost all animal and plant
life. The impact of this eruption was felt in what are today the Republic of Costa Rica and the Mexican State of Oaxaca, and the ash reached the American State of Florida. The depression thus formed, over half a mile deep, collected water and later filled with sediment. With the apprearance of the volcanoes to the south came the impressive scenic beauty which we know today.