About This Listing
The Tucano Casita Is a charming new cottage at our 35 acre Bio Thermales rainforest reserve with natural hot and cool springs pools in the north-central Costa Rican heartland. This is authentic Costa Rica: clean, comfortable and close to nature.
We are three hours north of San Jose (airport), 45 minutes east of Fortuna and Volcano Arenal.
Our hot springs are ancient “deep Earth” sources that bubble up through the rainforest floor, bringing mineral-rich waters that have been in the Earth for at least 10,000 years. Our waters are rich in bicarbonates, calcium and magnesium, low in sulfur, and slightly acidic, qualities shared by many of the world's best hot springs.
Guests enjoy 24 hour access to the hot springs.
Please note that we do not charge extra for children under 18 years old.
Tucano Casita features (see floor-plan for all details):
• Air-conditioning (but you probably won't need it)
• All onsite hot springs and recreation activities included
• Queen sized bed with orthopedic mattress and hypoallergenic bedding
• Twin-sized bed/settee with thick foam mattress and hypoallergenic bedding
• Hand-crafted rustic furniture from naturally harvested trees on the land
• Kitchen with refrigerator, micro-wave, coffee maker, electric skillet and basic kitchenware
• Tiled bathroom with real hot-water heater
• Porch with handmade rocking chair, swing, hammock
• Maid service every 3 days included
• Laundry service at extra charge per load
• Short walk to rainforest and hot springs pools
• No telephone or television
• Hosts Kathy and Bernie live onsite
• Languages: English, Spanish, German, limited French
Note on wifi -- we are currently working on a system to establish wifi connection with the casita, but at this time wifi is available only to the Tree House or at our reception area. If internet access is very important to your work, the best option is to bring a laptop/device with a USB port and purchase a 3G stick at SJO airport for about $50, no contract required. Remote locations in Costa Rica usually have spotty or no wifi and weather dependent.
One time $10 cleaning fee; thereafter housecleaning services every 3 days are (website hidden) Thermales Hot Springs features:
• Our hot springs pools are all-natural mineral water just as it flows from the Earth
• Rainforest Pools from 90° - 105°F (31° - 40°C)
• Grotto Pools in meadow flow from the 112°F/45°C source pool onward into two larger and progressively cooler pools which are handicap-accessible and suitable for small children.
• Cool Thermal Pool in meadow is 90°F/31°C mineral water flowing from the thermal creek
• 2 Cold Spring Water swimming pools (all natural, continuous water flow) from forest spring
• Bathhouse in meadow with handicap accessible bathrooms and showers
• “Ranchos” – roofed tables with concrete floors and grills for picnics
Other Activities on our 35 acre rainforest reserve:
• Bird-watching: many types of toucans, oropendulas, parrots, hummingbirds, and the rare green macaw
• Rainforest: enjoy it from the casita porch or hot springs pools, take easy walks on paths or more adventurous hikes
• Fossils – enjoy our collection or hunt (gently) for your own
• Wildlife: two-toed sloths, iguanas, capuchin and mantled howler monkeys, tree frogs, birds, butterflies, even a jaguarondi if you are lucky and quiet.
We are a 45 minute drive from the many activities in Fortuna and Volcano Arenal -- such as ziplines, hanging bridges, white water rafting, slow river floats or kayaking through wildlife sanctuaries -- or an hour drive from the less trodden cloud forest of Juan Castro Blanco National Park, with wonderful bird watching, including the Resplendent Quetzal. To see Quetzals, the best season is Feb to early May.
We are happy to help guests arrange activities through trustworthy tour guides and (website hidden) Thermales Hot Springs is open to the public for day use of the hot springs, and most of our day visitors are Costa Ricans, so you may also meet new Tico (website hidden) Thermales is generally not crowded, however, except on major holidays and Sundays.
You may see our other listings on Airbnb at:
Tree House: "Rainforest Tree House with Hot Springs" airbnb.com/rooms/50435
Tucano Casita (Toucan Casita) is listed as "Rainforest Casita with Hot Springs": airbnb.com/rooms/30358
Mariposa Casita (Butterfly Casita) is listed as "Rainforest Casita2 with Hot Springs" airbnb.com/rooms/51518
Colibri Casita (Hummingbird Casita) is listed as "Rainforest Casita3 with Hot Springs"
Food/Meals: The casita has a kitchen. There are many restaurants and a good supermarket within a 15 minute drive. Traditional Costa Rican meals can be delivered from a local caterer for very reasonable prices (Costa Rican food is tasty but not spicy). Otherwise, we can call a taxi or synchronize a food shopping trip when we go to town for errands.
Driving from SJO airport:
We highly recommend at least a small 4 wheel drive car. The last 3 kilometers are country roads.
Three hours of daylight are needed to safely drive here from the SJO airport before sunset at 5:30 pm. The drive through mountainous cloud forests is splendid in daylight, but prone to fog and rain, especially at night, creating hazardous visibility conditions after dark. Finding our countryside location will also be far easier if you arrive the first time before sunset. If your plane lands in the morning or mid-day, you can drive here directly from the airport. Otherwise, it is safer to book a room near the airport on your first night or we can help you arrange a private professional driver.
Last night in Costa Rica:
To drive directly to the SjO airport on the same day as your departing flight, you will need an afternoon or evening departing flight. For early morning departing flights, it is necessary to stay your last night near the airport.
Please email us before booking if we are your first and/or last destination in Costa Rica.
Five of our 9 organic form hot springs pools and a natural cool spring pool are located in the rainforest, and 4 hot springs pools as well as 2 cool natural spring swimming pools, are located in a meadow, surrounded by rainforest. Casita guests enjoy 24 hour hot springs pools and 35 acres of rainforest access at no charge.
Interaction with Guests
We enjoy interacting with our guests and making suggestions for and even help book activities in the area, as well as options for transportation. For personal interaction, we take our cues from our guests -- if they prefer privacy, we respect that; if they enjoy interaction, we are open to interaction and have met many delightful new friends in this way.
We are out in a non-touristy rural area of family farms, orchards and rainforest, off the beaten tourist tract. Guests should expect a natural environment, integrated into the rainforest. We are a 45 minute drive from the many activities in Fortuna/Volcano Arenal, including volcano hikes, ziplines, swimming in the pristine waters below the La Fortuna Waterfall, white water rafting and slow "safari float" rafting to see monkeys, sloths and other animals. Closer to us is a slow river raft tour, rainforest hikes or horseback riding, and a visit to the Iguana Bridge with many large iguanas within a 15 minute drive.
Public bus transport is available to nearby locations but not directly to us (the remainder of the journey being easily arranged by taxi). Public bus transport should be undertaken only by those experienced in public transport in Central America, preferably with backpacks. Private shuttles and private drivers are available, in addition to private rental car delivery to the guest's lodging and a special package for our guests, which includes a free cell phone for use in Costa Rica, discounted rates and a 100% guarantee that the quote will be complete and honest (no hidden fees).
Other Things to Note
Please message us before booking if you wish to drive directly from the airport to us, so we can determine if this is feasible. Sunset is at 5:30 and night driving is highly discouraged until drivers have quite some experience on Costa Rican roads.
No smoking indoors. No glass bottles/dishes near the pools. Children must be supervised always. No diving or jumping in the pools (except the large cool spring water swimming pool).. Must be willing to open/close the gate if guest leaves the property at night. No loud music or noise after 8 pm.
We LOVED the Rainforest Casita! The detailing and craftsmanship was unique and beautiful. A very romantic bungalow nestled into the jungle. Very quick drive to many attractions yet it's own oasis. Kathy and Bernie were fantastic hosts, as well as their staff. We especially enjoyed Pepe, their dog; being there made us feel at home.
Kathy and Bernie were both very helpful in suggesting different adventures and attractions in the area. Kathy did a fabulous job communicating and there were very attentive to our needs. Also, their location is not a bad drive to Arenal Volcano and La'Fortuna.
You will have to drive on a dirt road for a few minutes to get to their location, 4 x 4 is recommended but you really do not need it if you are cautious.
Our stay at Bio Thermales was amazing. Upon booking, Kathy sent a lot of information. It was so incredibly helpful and I highly recommend taking the time to read any information she shares. Kathy is so genuine and caring and went out of her way to accommodate us. Kathy gave us a long orientation and tour of the property, which gave us even more appreciation for its beauty and all the hard work Bernie put in to make this such a special, unique spot. Bernie has chickens, tilapia, and one of the friendliest dogs ever. The casita was complete with a bathroom, kitchen essentials, and AC (which we didn't need). It was so quiet and peaceful at night and in the morning --- we even had the hot springs to ourselves. Our only complaint is that we only booked one night here and immediately upon arrival, we knew we wanted to stay longer. One night here is not enough :)
Unfortunately my boyfriend and I only got to spend one night here. We both wished it was longer but we had to be on our way! The hot springs are great and very relaxing. The grounds are beautiful. Our casita was adorable and built by Bernie complete with hand carved wooden doors. Amazing! I wouldn't hesitate to come back on another trip. I definitely recommend an SUV for the drive in.
Kathy and Bernie made us feel extremely welcome. Their property is gorgeous and the thermal pools wonderful. We enjoyed the sounds of nature all around us and the beauty of the environment.
Bernie's artistic talent abounds and the bed and wood carvings were spectacular.
The tree house is a must see!
We stayed at Bio Thermales for a month, using it as a base to explore northern Caribbean slope Costa Rica. It was our fourth trip to CR but we had never seen this region. We stayed in the Tucano casita. We were given a lot of good information by Kathy and Bernie before coming and discovered some other off the beaten path destinations that made this adventure one of the best experiences we have had in CR. Many would think that staying in one place for that long, we would get bored, but there is a lot to see and do in the region if you love nature and the outdoors. To get around we rented a ordinary small car as we are used to driving rough gravel roads in the remote area of Nova Scotia that we come from, but for some places such as going in to the Celeste River and back roads around Arenal a 4x4 would probably make most people feel more (website hidden) Thermales itself is a wonderful place for birding, with many Toucans, Parrots, Aracari, Trogans, Woodpeckers, Orioles and the fascinating Oropendola's which have a colony of over a dozen long pendulous nests a few hundred yards from Bio Thermales. (Lots of other birds there that we didn't identify as we aren't serious birders) You will often see Iguanas and hear howler monkeys in the trees and frogs and fireflys at night around the springs. Close by there is a huge diversity of birds and other wildlife such as sloths, different monkeys, laughing falcons, boat billed and other large herons, various reptiles etc. The mix of tropical fruit and cattle farming providing open spaces along with thick rain forest to hide in seems perfect for wildlife viewing.
During the week we always could find a hotspring pool to ourselves. But during weekends, especially Sundays, the hotsprings become very busy with Costa Ricans. If you don't mind sharing the pools with many others and speak good Spanish this could be a good time - otherwise avoid weekends. Or use the pools early morning and in the evenings on weekends. Its easy to find other places to go to avoid the noisy times! Overall we would highly recommend a stay here, long or short - if you like authentic, laid back, interesting places away from the well beaten tourist paths.
This host has 272 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Kathy & Bernie
Pura Vida! (“Pure life” is an all-purpose greeting in Costa Rica, as well as a way of life.)
Kathy and Bernie (American and German, respectively) have designed Bio Thermales so guests may enjoy the beneficent hot springs and rainforest while making only positive impacts on the rainforest in our care. This is a very healing and lovely place and we look forward to sharing it with you. We have worked on many environmental endeavors, professionally and as volunteers. Bernie is an engineer, organic gardener, woodworker, artist and great cook. Kathy is a nutritionist, writer, graphic designer, and community and events organizer. We have also been active in many human rights efforts.
We have a friendly dog, tilapia pond and free-ranging chickens.