Named in honor of St. Mark the Evangelist, San Marcos La Laguna is the smallest municipality of the department of Sololá.
According to legend, the founders of San Marcos La Laguna originate from a place called Paquip, which is many miles away.
These people had to leave because of the abundance of wild animals that were in their land and, also according to legend, had to wander for 300 years before settling in around Lake Atitlan.
These Kakchiquel were joined by another group of residents of Santiago Atitlan and began the history of San Marcos La Laguna, which is now one of the busiest towns in the region.
The city has a booming tourism and many daily visitors from other nearby towns. Despite its small land area, it has several sources of water. This facilitates the daily activities for its inhabitants.
Lake Atitlan is a major source of income, not only as a tourist destination but as a place of fishing for the daily consumption of its inhabitants.
The people have sad stories to tell, since the town has repeatedly been subject to flooding that wiped out their architectural structures. However, they have rebuilt and improved infrastructure with great effort.
Sites to see
One of San Marcos strengths is that it haves a beautiful and clear view of Lake Atitlan and other nearby villages. It was built on a hill and has a great space to take photographs and admire the natural beauty of the place.
A few years ago an outdoor theater was built and it is has been used for diverse cultural activities throughout the year. These range from musical events with regional instruments to indigenous ceremonies or political activities.
San Marcos Fair is recognized in the area and presents a rich blend of costumes, agricultural products and traditions.
Places to visit
The main beach of San Marcos La Laguna has a special appeal with the presence of a small pier to receive boats that travel through Lake Atitlan and trees protruding from the water.
There are plantations surrounding the town and providing a stunning view with a great mix of colors. Interestingly, although a visual scene, these images represent the locals' survival.
Small cafes and restaurants complement the peaceful landscape of the place, with beautiful views of the lake in the middle of picturesque streets.