About this listing
The Tucano Casita is one of 3 charming cottages at our Bio Thermales Hot Springs natural resort organically integrated into our 35 acre rainforest preserve with natural hot and cool springs pools in the north-central Costa Rican heartland.
We are three hours north of San Jose (airport), 45 minutes east of Fortuna and 1 hour from Volcano Arenal, and the many activities there and nearby.
Please message us before booking if we will be either your first or last destination in Costa Rica to before booking if you wish to drive directly from the airport to us, so we can determine if this is safe and feasible. All roads from the SJO airport pass through cloud forests, which can be foggy even in the day, causing poor visibility on narrow, curving mountain roads, especially after sunset 5:30 and night driving is highly discouraged until drivers have quite some experience on Costa Rican roads.
We highly recommend booking on weekdays for more privacy and tranquility, as we have more day visitors from 9 am to 6 pm to our hot springs on the weekends, especially Sundays. If your reservation includes a Sunday, we highly recommend planning a day outing to the many wonderful nearby activities. We cannot guarantee our usual tranquil conditions on Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm.
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.
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 smart phone with internet capabilities for which you can buy a 3G Costa Rican SIM card to work with the Costa Rican system. Remote locations in Costa Rica usually have spotty or no wifi and weather dependent. 4G works only in the San Jose metro area.
One time $10 cleaning fee; thereafter housecleaning services every 3 days are free.
Bio Thermales Hot Springs features:
• Our hot springs pools are all-natural mineral water just as it flows from the Earth
• Rainforest Pools from 90° - 104°F (31° - 42°C)
• Grotto Pools in meadow flow from the 104°F/42°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 a forest spring. Both cool spring pools have water slides.
• 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 jaguarundi 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 companies.
Bio 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 friends. Bio Thermales is generally not crowded, however, except on major holidays and Sundays.
You may see our other listings on Airbnb at:
Mariposa Casita (Butterfly Casita) is listed as "Rainforest Casita2 with
Hot Springs" www.airbnb.com/rooms/51518
Colibri Casita (Hummingbird Casita) is listed as "Rainforest Casita3 with Hot Springs"
www.airbnb.com/rooms/896911 (add a 1 to the beginning because otherwise the automated Airbnb system will interpret the listing page number as a phone number and hide it)
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
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 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"
airbnb.com/rooms/(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)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.
Guests enjoy 24/day access* to our hot springs and trails in our 35 acre rainforest at no extra charge. *The pools are cleaned every morning starting at 6 am and the upper hot springs pools are usually ready for use by 7, and one hot spring will always be available. Many factors may affect cleaning scheduling, including weather.
We do not charge for children 17 and under.
Five of our 10 organic-form hot springs pools and a large medium temperature hot spring pool are located in the rainforest (access during daylight hours only for guests' safety), and 5 hot springs pools as well as 2 cool natural spring swimming pools with water slides, are located in a meadow, surrounded by rainforest (unlimited access because there are lights and low risk of encounters with wildlife). One shallow hot spring pool of moderate temperature also has a water slide for young children. The pools are cleaned daily from 7 am to 8 am, starting with the highest rainforest pools (which fill rapidly and will be available at 7:45 am).
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 track. 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 from Aguas Zarcas by taxi). Public bus transport should be undertaken only by those experienced in public transport in Central America, preferably with backpacks and who speak Spanish. 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
Day visitors and groups are permitted entrance to use the hot springs and cool springs pools from 9 am to 6 pm. There are usually more day visitors on weekends, especially Sundays, and we recommend booking week days for more tranquility and privacy. If guests book a longer reservation that includes a Sunday, we recommend planning a day tour in the many nearby activities on Sundays. Day visitors must leave by 6 pm, and only casita and Tree House guests may use the pools after 6 pm and enjoy unlimited access to the pools, with the exception of no nighttime use of the forest pools, and cleaning schedule as noted above.
We recommend either ordering a catered dinner for your first evening and/or next morning breakfast, or buying and bringing groceries to cook because we are 4 km from the main paved road and driving after dark is highly discouraged until drivers have quite some experience on Costa Rican roads. Also, most guests prefer to settle in upon arrival and not to have to get back in the car and drive out to dinner. We provide a Catering Menu to each guest once reserved, but the caterer requires advance notice of selected meals and TIMES guests would like meals delivered. We do not have a liquor license and guests must bring their own beer/wine/rum etc. The tap water is safe to drink, and we sell soft drinks, fruit juices, and other non-alcohol beverages, snacks and ice cream.
No smoking inside the casita -- and Costa Rica has just passed a law forbidding smoking in any public location, which includes the pools and and anywhere on the grounds where other people go. It would not include the rainforest or pasture outside our gate. No glass bottles or dishes at the pools. Children must be supervised at all times in the pools or rainforest, and parents must prevent children from diving or jumping into the pools to avoid injury. Guests must be willing to open/shut the gate if they leave the property after 6pm. No loud music or noise after 8 pm.
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.