About Esalen FAQs
Is Esalen Expensive? Can I Afford to Come?
Esalen offers a wide array of accommodation options and short- and long-term programs to suit every need and budget (as low as $41/day for our Work Study Program) as well as work exchange, scholarship, and senior discount funds to encourage people of all financial abilities to participate in the magic and mystery of Esalen.
Is there a Shuttle or Van Service to Esalen?
Beginning November 16, 2014, we will expand our shuttle van service and offer transportation from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and San Jose International Airport (SJC) as well as Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY) on Fridays and Sundays. For van service schedules and pricing on or after November 16, 2014, please click here.
Prior to November 16, 2014,we have van service on Fridays and Sundays from the Monterey Airport at approximately 4 pm and also in Monterey at approximately 4:20 pm at 438 Calle Principal between Jefferson and Franklin.
Look for the Monterey AirBus Station sign. It is located in front of a parking garage near the Montrio Bistro Restaurant. There is also a pick up at the Monterey Transit Center at the corner of Pearl and Alvarado, next to Ordway Drugs.
If you plan to use this service, please inform the Esalen office by fax at 831-667-2724 at least 24 hours prior to your arrival.
The $65 one-way fee (subject to change) is payable to the Esalen office when you check in. Return reservations may be made at that time. The only departing van service from Esalen is on Fridays and Sundays at approximately 5:30 pm. If you plan to use this departure service, please make sure that your plane reservations are after 8 pm.
Can I Come Take a Tour and Just Look Around?
Unfortunately, we do not offer guided public tours. To preserve the sanctity of the Esalen experience, self-guided tours and walkabouts are also prohibited.
Will My Cell Phone Work at Esalen? Is there Internet Access?
Esalen is located approximately 45 miles from "civilization," and there is currently no cell coverage. This isolation and tranquility, while deepening the experience of your stay at Esalen, can also be a significant change. While there is no cell service, there are three pay phones and calling cards available in the bookstore.
We use a bulletin board for important messages and calls from home and offer a few wired Internet kiosks for limited use. Wireless internet is available in the lodge anytime but during mealtimes.
Is There a Pharmacy or a Doctor on Property?
Esalen does have an on-call doctor for emergencies, but there are no other medical services or pharmacy available on site. If you will require medical attention or supplies during your stay, please come prepared to administer to your own needs, or make advance arrangements with the Big Sur Health Center in Big Sur.
Is There an ATM on Property?
Please bring sufficient funds for incidentals, as Esalen does not have an ATM, nor are we able to cash checks. We do accept cash, checks and credit cards as payment, however.
Can I Bring my Dog? Cat? Other Pet?
Sorry. Other than animals in service, pets are not allowed on the property.
Will I need a flashlight?
Can I bring my stash?
What if I lose something? Is there a lost and found?
Must I Get Naked? Is Esalen a Nudist Colony?
The hot springs at Esalen have been in use for over 6,000 years and are clothing-optional. Nudity is common in the baths and the swimming pool but by no means mandatory.
We encourage each individual to find their own edge between comfort and growth, either wearing a swimsuit or not, knowing that the environment we strive for at Esalen is one of personal sanctuary and respect for the human body.
For those who do choose to use the springs, in a bathing suit or without, daily or once in a lifetime — the hot springs experience embodies much of what continues to make Esalen a singular place of adventure, contemplation, and community.