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About Esalen FAQs
Is Esalen Expensive? Can I Afford to Come?
To encourage people of all financial abilities to participate in the magic and mystery of Esalen, we offer a wide array of accommodation options as well as short- and longer-term programs to suit every need and budget. Participation in the 28-day Work Study Program is possible for as little as $41/day, and for those wishing to participate in weekend, 5-day or 7-day catalog workshops we additionally offer work exchange, need-based financial scholarship, and discounts for seniors.
Is there a Shuttle or Van Service to Esalen?
Shuttle van service is available from from San Francisco, San Jose, and Monterey airports on Fridays and Sundays. For shuttle schedules and pricing, please click here.
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?
We carry only basic sundries in our Bookstore. The nearest pharmacy is 40 miles away in Carmel, so you will want to make sure to bring your prescription medications with you.
Esalen does not have an on-call doctor, and there are no other medical services 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.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.
Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
Will I need a flashlight?
Our property is dimly lit at night, allowing guests to fully enjoy and appreciate the night sky. Please bring a flashlight for use while walking on the grounds after dark.
Can I bring my stash?
In accordance with state and federal laws, the possession or use of illegal drugs on Esalen grounds is strictly prohibited.
What if I lose something? Is there a lost and found?
To inquire about items left behind from your Esalen visit, please send an email including your name, the date you checked out, and a description of the missing item/s to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message at 831-667-3019.
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.