Esalen Institute

NileGuide Expert Says:

Book in advance for a spa treatment or access to the hot springs (reservation only). Leave your bashfulness behind – you’ll be entrusting your bare body to a masseuse who takes a holistic approach to massage, using touch as much to give pleasure as to treat tired muscles.


55000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920




Esalen is a not-for-profit sanctuary and alternative education institute that is both literally and figuratively perched on the edge of the Western world. While it easily ranks among the most esoteric and eccentric places in California, Esalen offers an undeniably mystical and – for the open-minded – enriching experience. Whether you're there to, as the institute encourages, explore "unrealized human capacities" and discover ancient wisdom, or if you just want a relaxing massage, it's worth the visit…and it's likely that you'll still come away inspired to learn.


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