About This Listing
The Tree House Is charming, new and handcrafted 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, and the many activities there and nearby.
Guests enjoy 24/day access to our hot springs and trails in our 35 acre rainforest at no extra charge. We do not charge for children 17 and under -- but the Tree House is not appropriate for children under 5 years, for whom a 20 foot fall from the balcony would be very dangerous.
Our hot springs are ancient “deep Earth” sources that bubble up through the rainforest floor, laden with 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.
Five of our 9 organic form hot springs pools are located in the rainforest, and 4 hot springs pools as well as a small and a large cool spring swimming pool are located in a meadow, surrounded by rainforest (see below for more information).
We will not accept reservations for the Tree House for families with children under 5 years old. Parents should evaluate whether the height of the Tree House is safe and appropriate for their children. There are railings around the balcony that surround the Tree House but a determined child could climb over them and fall or a very small child could crawl through the spaces in the railing. Every child is individual and their parents must use their best judgment and assume any risk.
The Tree House is built to strict Costa Rican building codes, but as with all tree houses, there is some movement when the wind blows, and this could be uncomfortable for people very sensitive to motion sickness.
You may see our other listings on Airbnb at:
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"
Tree House: "Rainforest Tree House with Hot Springs" airbnb.com/rooms/50435
You can check availability of each accommodation by clicking on the "Calendar" tab above the main photo on each listing.
Tree House features: (see floor-plan for all details):
• Perched high among the rainforest trees, the Tree House has large screened areas for circulation of naturally cooler breezes. It also has fans.
• All onsite hot springs and recreation activities included, including 24 hour access to the hot springs and cool spring swimming pools
• The Master bedroom with a Queen sized bed with orthopedic mattress and hypoallergenic bedding is in a loft
• One the main floor, two twin-sized beds that can double as settees with hypoallergenic bedding
• Hand-crafted rustic furniture from naturally harvested trees on the land
• Main floor kitchen with refrigerator, micro-wave, coffee maker, basic kitchenware
• Bathroom with flash on-demand hot-water heater
• Wrap around balcony for relaxing and animal and bird watching
• 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
• WiFi internet for your laptop -- if reliable 24 hour internet is essential to you, please message us for suggestions.
• Hosts Kathy and Bernie live onsite
• Languages: English, Spanish, German, limited French
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 Pool in meadow is 90°F/31°C mineral water flowing from the thermal creek
• 2 Swimming pools with continuous flow of natural cold spring water (88 degrees) - one is 1 to 1.5 meters deep, and the larger is 3 meters deep.
• 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, and many others.
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 20 minutes from the less trodden cloud forest of Juan Castro Blanco National (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.
Food/Meals: The Tree House 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, for those without cars, we can call a taxi or synchronize a food shopping trip when we go to town for errands.
Driving from SJO airport: Please message us before booking if we are your first and/or last destination in Costa Rica.
We 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 to noon, you can drive here directly from the airport. Otherwise, it is safer to book a room near the airport on your first night, or ask us to book a private driver ($145) and have a rental car delivered at no extra charge.
Last night in Costa Rica:
Driving directly to the SJO airport on the same day is possible if you book a flight in the afternoon. Please be aware that you must be at the airport 2.5 hours before departure. If you have an early morning departing flight it is basically necessary to stay near the airport on the night before.
Five of our 9 organic form hot springs pools are located in the rainforest, and 4 hot springs pools as well as a small and a large cool spring swimming pool are located in a meadow, surrounded by rainforest and one cool fresh spring pool in the rainforest (see below for more information). Tree House 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. If we are away, our Costa Rican manager, Johan, moves into our house with his lovely wife and baby daughter, so there is always a manager onsite.
No smoking or flame inside the wooden Tree House or on the wooden deck. Barbecue grill is provided below the Tree House on ground level but may not be used on the deck. No glass bottles or dishes may be used in the pools. Guests leaving the property after 6 pm must be willing to close the gate behind them.
Children must be supervised at all times in the pools and rainforest.
We loved our stay in the amazing treehouse. A beautiful drive to areas of interest, it was very nice to stay away from the crowded and busy towns but still in the area. Kids loved swimming in all of the beautiful pools especially the one with the sliding board and it was a great start and end to our busy days. I am so happy our initial introduction to Costa Rica was this magical place. Nothing else has yet to compare.
Kathy and Bernie's treehouse and the Biothermales hot springs are truly amazing. The property is beautiful, the hot springs are great and the treehouse is a once in a lifetime experience. We had such a great time-- Kathy was warm and welcoming from the moment we arrived. She made all of the appropriate suggestions for arriving and planning our days while there -- including meals and massages delivered to the tree house.
If you're looking for a unique Costa Rican experience in a rural rainforest setting, you'll love the treehouse. A few things worth noting-- no wifi (not that you'd want it), and about 15-20km of travel down rocky dirt roads. We rented a 4x4 and enjoyed the experience, but it is not for those with weak stomachs!
We had an awesome time at Kathy and bernies place! A great spot to stop by and relax at the hot pools! The treehouse itself is another reason why you should go there! One of the coolest yet comfortable places we've stayed at. We were kindly introduced to the place by the nice couple and also received some good tips for the area around too! Thanks for having us!
The treehouse was amazing! The best place that we stayed at in all of Costa Rica. Sleeping and waking up to the sounds of the rainforest was incredible, and the house is extremely clean. The provided bed net is a must, but overall there weren't too many bugs inside. The hot springs on the property are a must do, and you have access to them at night as well. Kathy and Bernie are very warm, friendly and accommodating hosts. Definitely get the massage and catered food too! Would definitely recommend anyone going to Costa Rica to stay here, especially if you will already be nearby to see the volcano (it was an easy ~30 min drive from La Fortunate, but you should have a 4x4 for the last stretch of road). Only thing to note is that the wifi here is really bad-- shouldn't be a problem (why would you need wifi in this beautiful place?!) unless you have an emergency and need to access the Internet!
We loved our stay in Kathy and Bernie's treehouse! The site is unique and beautiful--a true labor of love--and the thermal pools very nice. The house itself was immaculate and fairly spacious (considering), and the mosquito-proofing with screening is as perfect as can be. We spent a lot of time into the evening relaxing on the balcony with no bug spray on, and miraculously didn't get a single bite. We also hiked the jungle trails and saw a large family of white-faced monkeys and a wild turkey...as well as a baby snake that gave us a bit of a start (but of course was harmless)! Kathy was very welcoming and spent a great deal of time going over almost every detail of the property with us. We only wished she would have let us know all the hot pools would be closed for maintenance the morning we were there...it was disappointing that we couldn't try the early morning jungle hot spring soak she urged us to wake up with the sun for. But we did get a wonderful night soak in with the fireflies! I would HIGHLY recommend you take advantage of the "catering"...the food is delicious and very reasonably priced, and it's so convenient not to leave this beautiful property!
I apologize for not telling you the cleaning schedule -- but in truth I didn't know that Bernie had changed the schedule until I asked him about it in response to your review. They have to drain the forests pools first for logistical reasons, and the schedule was between 7 and 8, with the meadow hot springs pools last, so there is always at least one pool available. The new schedule is that they drain the forest pools starting at 6, but they fill again within an hour or less. so they would be likely full and usable by 6:45 -- or prior to 6:00. And there is always one hot spring pool available in the meadow. Again, my apologies. We so enjoyed your visit.
Wonderful experience! Kathy and Bernie were very accommodating and the place was exactly as explained, a beautiful and quaint little tree house right at the doorstep of the rain forest. The staff on their grounds were wonderful and helpful as well. Give this place a try if you're looking to avoid the typical tourist hotels for something a bit more rustic and natural in Costa Rica, close to a lot of great destinations including Arenal Volcano.
What else can we say to describe our (email hidden) Thermales treehouse other than, PERFECTION! We were initially greeted by Kathy, Bernie & pepe (their loving dog) with open arms and shown around the property which was even more relaxing and beautiful than we were even expecting. The hot springs were so immaculately kept, artistically crafted, and were the perfect way to relax and enjoy the surrounding sounds of nature.
Our treehouse was also a unique and enjoyable experience...after all, it's not everyday you're in a treehouse, in the middle of the rainforest! The space was clean, and had everything we needed to enjoy our stay. We even took advantage of having home cooked meals delivered to the house which were very delicious and quite affordable.
Our stay was so 'perfect' we even got engaged here! Kathy, Bernie, and staff made our stay extra special and we could not say enough about how much we enjoyed Bio Thermales!
This host has 250 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.