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Getting Here

By Air

Esalen is located approximately 45 miles (75 minutes) south of Monterey, and the following distances from San Jose International Airport (SJC) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). There is an occasional shuttle van service from Monterey, but a return shuttle trip back to Monterey is offered only when it is arranged in advance through our Office. There is also a shuttle service from San Jose International Airport (SJC) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Monterey. See the Monterey Airbus website for details and a shuttle schedule.

  • SJC–San Jose International Airport–120 miles
  • SFO–San Francisco International Airport–150 miles
  • MRY–Monterey Peninsula Airport–47 miles

By Car

From San Francisco or points north:

  • Take Route 101 South.
  • At Prunedale, take Route 156 west to the Monterey Peninsula and Highway 1.
  • Take Highway 1 South approximately 45 miles, past Monterey, Carmel, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
  • Nepenthe, a popular restaurant located on the ocean side of Highway 1, is 11 miles north of Esalen.

From Los Angeles or points south:

Those coming from the south should take Route 101 north to San Luis Obispo and then Highway 1 to Esalen.

  • We are approximately 100 miles north of San Luis Obispo.
  • When you reach Lucia, a bend in the road where there is a restaurant and motel, you are 10 miles south of Esalen.

From either direction, watch for the Esalen Institute sign on the west (ocean) side of the road.

Be sure to check here for any weather and road updates prior to your travel.

There is also an alternate route for cutting off from Hwy 101 to Hwy 1 using the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Click here for details.

Current Road Conditions

For traffic updates and other Caltrans projects in Monterey County, call (800) 427-ROAD (7623) within California and (916) 445-7623 from outside of California, or visit the Caltrans District 5 website.

Rideshare/Carpool to and from Esalen

Click here for current rideshare/carpool opportunities.

Van Service

On Fridays and Sundays we have van service from the Monterey Airport at 4 p.m. and from the Monterey Transit Plaza (corner of Pearl and Alvarado, next to Ordway Drug) at approximately 4:20 p.m.

If you plan to use this service, please inform the Esalen office 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 during your stay. The only departing van service from Esalen is on Fridays and Sundays, leaving between 5:30-6:00 pm and generally arriving in Monterey between 7:00-7:30 pm. If you plan to use this departure service, please make sure that your reservations departing Monterey are after 8 p.m.

Street Address and Map

Esalen Institute
55000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920

You may access the Google Maps page for directions from your location.

Getting to Esalen by Plane, Car, Rideshare, and Van


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