The gently sloping hillside village of Santa María Xadani (pop. 1,000) is tucked in a luxuriantly forested Río Zimatan valley (about 13 miles/21 km from Hwy. 200). Xadani (shah-DAH-nee) is distinguished by its five separate social orders: adults, kids, dogs, pigs, and chickens. The town pride is the church (at the village’s upper end), dedicated to village patron the Virgen de la Concepción, whom townsfolk, joined by many outsiders, celebrate in a big fiesta climaxing on August 15.
Nearby sights include the Cascada del Llano Grande (waterfall) of the Río Copalita, an ojo de agua (spring), Encanto, warm on one side and cool on the other. Farther afield, one-day tours by taxi or your own car could include the spectacular Cascada del Diablo (Devil’s Waterfall).
For a local guide (Spanish-only), ask for friendly resident Gregorio Cruz Cruz, preferably at least a day or two ahead of time. Write to him at Gregorio Cruz Cruz, Domocilio Conocido, Santa María Xadani , Pochutla, Oaxaca 70999; or better, leave a message for him in Spanish at his sister-in-law’s telephone, 958/587-9730.
If you’re going to stay a while, Xadani offers basic services, including a pharmacy, private doctor, and a centro de salud.
If you can, time your arrival for Sunday morning to coincide with the tianguis.
The easiest way to get to Xadani is by guide or tour from Huatulco .
If you’re going independently, Xadani is accessible via the signed side road on the north side of Highway 200, seven miles (11.4 km) west of the Río Copalita bridge and Copalita village (store, palapa restaurants, basic hotel, long-distance telephone, 41 miles/66 km east of Pochutla , 74 miles/119 km west of Salina Cruz).
If by car, set your odometer as you turn off the highway. Continue immediately through a Zimatán village (which has a store with unleaded gasoline) along a good gravel road, paralleling the gorgeous vine-hung, butterfly-decorated Río Zimatán valley.
By bus, take a long-distance or local colectivo from Pochutla  or Crucecita , which may take you at least to Copalita, or even to the Xadani Highway 200 turnoff. From there, you can catch a taxi or a truck ride (offer to pay) to Xadani.