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An Invitation to Inspiration

For centuries, the stunning beauty and powerful geography of Big Sur have beckoned artists, authors, musicians, thinkers and spiritual leaders seeking creative inspiration, personal transformation and inner well-being. Now, the Alila Experience Program extends a similar invitation to you, with workshops and activities designed to help you develop a deeper connection to yourself, your partner and the natural world

We invite you to explore the following menu of workshops and discover which experiences most resonate with you. All workshops are focused on couples, but can be adapted to group and/or single participants. For reservations or more information, please contact guest relations at Ventana at 800.628.6500 or email [email protected].

Star Bathing

There is nothing like the night sky in Big Sur, where you feel as though you can touch the stars. Join us for a night hike in the beautiful Big Sur wilderness, the stars and moon shining brightly above. We will end the hike with hand-crafted CBD cocktails and special snacks, including house-made beef jerky, Ventana trail mix, and granola bars.


Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours
Price: $150 per person
Maximum 10 ppl

Mixology on the Sky Terrace

Drinks, anyone? Learn to become a mixology master and the secrets to craft cocktails. Then savor your creations looking out over the Pacific from the majestic Sky Terrace.


Duration: 2 hours
Price: $500 location fee; $200 per person
Maximum 8 ppl

Daily Group Hike

Big Sur Guides and Hiking offers an off-property group hike to all Ventana Big Sur guests, meeting at 11:20 a.m. daily at Social House. Explore coastal redwood trails, cascading rivers and streams, and the rugged Pacific coastline. Guides point out local flora and fauna, and Native American history. Inquire at Social House for details.

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Price: $75 per person. Picnic Lunch: $20

Falconry Experience

Join Master Falconer Antonio Balestreri for an intimate introduction to the ancient sport of Falconry. Learn about hawks, owls and falcons, and their important role in the Big Sur environment. Meet the Peregrine Falcon, the world's fastest animal; the Great Horned Owl, one of nature's most successful and beautiful predators; and the Harris's Hawk, as it glides through majestic redwoods towards your outstretched glove. Get close with these fascinating birds of prey for an experience you will never forget. By reservation only.

Duration: 2 Hours

Price: $200 per person

Sip Like a Sommelier

Learn about wine – and the special stories of this rich and fertile region – with Ventana Big Sur's resident wine expert. We'll focus on the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH), a neighbor to us and one of the state’s premier winemaking districts, featuring exceptional (and highly rated) pinot noirs and chardonnays. Paired with delicacies from California's central coast. This truly is a food and wine experience to remember. By reservation only. Six guest maximum.

Duration: 1.5 hours
Price: $175 per person

Organic Garden Tour

Join our gardener at the Organic Garden to harvest the week's bounty! You'll learn about soil, planting and growing practices – and get some tips and tricks to use in your own garden, too.

Duration: 1 hour

Circle of Life Meditation Experience

Join one of our Meditation Facilitators and Big Sur residents on this inspiring journey for the spirit, body and mind. You'll experience nature's wisdom and the deep power of inner and outer peace as you gather for a centering practice and guided walking meditation. The Circle of Life is a natural ring of 100-year-old redwoods, a place that awakens awareness and revitalizes your connection with yourself and your surroundings. (The trail is a mild to moderate 10-minute walk. Please bring water and wear supportive hiking shoes.)

Duration: 1 hour
Price: $175

Glass House Art Classes

Expand your creative boundaries by joining us at the Glass House Gallery for a class featuring a local artist. You'll learn new skills, find new inspiration and create a new piece of artwork to take home.

Duration: 2.5 hours
Price: $395 per person/$475 per couple

Photography Hike Workshop

The topography of Big Sur has fueled the dreams of seekers and nature lovers for hundreds of years. Learn how to capture it with your camera in this photography workshop and guided hike around Ventana's wilderness. You'll hike some of the most beautiful trails in California with Big Sur Hikes and Guides, and learn powerful image-making techniques to improve composition, light exposure and visual language – regardless of your skill level, camera or previous experience.

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Price: $225 per person. Includes picnic lunch.

The Jack Kerouac Experience

This driving tour by Big Sur Guides and Hiking is a photographer's dream come true! Traverse the Old Coast Road – the original coastal highway stretching from Andrew Molera State Park to Bixby Bridge along a well-maintained dirt road offering vistas of the Ventana Wilderness. We'll picnic along the way saying hello along the way to old-growth redwoods and a variety of wildlife.

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Price: $225 per person. Includes picnic lunch.

The Big Sur Galleries Tour

Join Big Sur Guides and Hiking on a tour of area galleries – a rare opportunity to see the art of Big Sur and meet some of the artists as well. Discover treasures at the Hawthorne Gallery, the Coast Gallery, The Big Sur Arts Initiative Gallery, The Phoenix Shop at Nepenthe and The Heartbeat Gallery, before finishing with a Champagne toast at Ventana's Glass House Gallery. There will be surprises along the way, including a picnic lunch on the Big Sur River.

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Price: $225 per person

Spiritual Hiking Excursion and Hermitage Tour

This excursion provides a special focus on the intense spirituality one can experience here in Big Sur. Your senses will awaken among the cathedral-like redwoods, cascading waterfalls, wildlife, flora and fauna. You will learn about forest bathing and the powerful connections that nature can provide. Your spirit will soar as you take in the breathtaking beauty of the untamed Pacific Ocean, rugged coastline and rock formations. The experience culminates in a picnic lunch and tour of the New Camaldoli Hermitage property, which features unsurpassed ocean views and a serene chapel where you can pause to pray, reflect or simply admire the peaceful setting.

Duration: 4 hours
Price: $250 per person

Wild Foraging Hike

This seasonal hiking excursion in the wet months of autumn/winter takes us to the forest in search of some of the most sought-after wild foods – mushrooms. You'll learn how to look for wild mushrooms with a specialist guide who will teach you how to identify edible and nonedible varieties, along with medicinal plants such as Redwood Sorrel, California Sagebrush and Bay Laurel. A picnic lunch is included. If seeing mushrooms is not a concern, this experience can be enjoyed year-round learning about which flora is edible and medicinal.

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Price: $225 per person

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