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Planning Your Visit

What to Bring to Esalen

Accommodations can be a little rustic and drafty and the coastal weather unpredictable—we recommend bringing a few items to make your stay more with us comfortable and safe. Many of these items are also available in our bookstore

In addition to layered and comfortable clothing and items necessary for your workshop, we encourage you to bring:

  • Flashlight
  • Alarm clock
  • Hair dryer
  • Medications
  • Toiletries (shampoo & conditioner)
  • Water Bottle (NON glass)
  • Cash –There is no ATM onsite
  • Hiking shoes/ Sneakers
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Earplugs – If sharing a room.
  • A watch (as cell phone service doesnt work here)
  • Warm layered clothing

What to Leave at Home

A few things we encourage you to do without:

  • Candles or incense or anything flammable as the fire danger is severe and they are not allowed.
  • Any illicit drugs as we have a strict anti-drug policy.
  • Pets which are not service animals.
  • Expensive valuables as we do not have safes and cannot guarantee their safety.

Key Information About Your Stay

Esalen is located approximately 45 miles from "civilization." This isolation and tranquility can deepen the experience possible during a stay at Esalen yet can be a significant change in environment for many guests. We have minimal electronic communications available (there are some pay phones and terminals available for internet connection). There is no cell phone service at Esalen.

Health Services: Esalen has no medical services or pharmacy on site. If you will require medical attention or supplies during your stay, please come prepared to administer to your own needs.

Money: Esalen is able to accept cash, checks, and credit cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Please bring sufficient funds for incidentals, as Esalen does not have an ATM, nor are we able to cash checks. We cannot charge items to your room, so please have a form of payment with you to make purchases.

Smoking: Esalen is a non-smoking community. Smoking is not permitted in any accommodations, meeting rooms, or other indoor spaces.

Snoring: If you will be staying in shared accommodations, please come prepared with nose guards, ear plugs, etc to use in the event that you or your roommate/s snore.

Camping: To limit the impact on our land, camping is not available at Esalen. A variety of campgrounds are available in the Big Sur area.

Large Vehicles: Please note that Esalen does not have parking space for large vehicles on the campus. Large vehicles need to park on Highway 1 at the Esalen entrance.

Pets: Other than animals in service, pets are not allowed on the property.

Guests as Volunteers: Esalen is a learning community/organization made up of guests, students, staff, and volunteers. A variety of contributions go toward enhancing this community. Guests contribute to this in many ways, including making their beds and bussing their dishes. Guests are also welcome to contribute a couple of hours to work with the Esalen staff, usually in the kitchen. Your help enables us to meet the pressures of peak working times and enables you to experience Esalen from the inside out. Contact the reservations office for further details.

Valuables: The Esalen office has no facilities to store your valuables.

Flashlight: Please bring a flashlight for use at night while walking on the grounds.

Illegal Drugs: In accordance with state and federal laws, the possession or use of illegal drugs on Esalen grounds is strictly prohibited.


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