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.
Prachtige plek! We hebben genoten van ons verblijf. Onze 2 dochters (10 en 13 jaar) vonden de warm water bronnen en het zwembad erg mooi en lekker. Het was voor ons 2 dagen relaxen in het park. We hebben 2 avonden eten besteld, wat een goede service. Leuke plek om nog een keer naar toe te gaan! Vooraf kregen we informatie en de route beschrijving. Zeer uitgebreid en duidelijk. Als navigatie gebruikten wij de app Here, de kaart van Costa Rica downloaden en je komt op je bestemming.
Dank jullie wel en wie weet tot ziens!
Beautiful treehouse made by skilled craftsmen. The treehouse was perfect, including kitchenware, perfect beds, etcetera. And it still is a treehouse in the middle of the rainforest. Because we cooked outside, we didn't have problems with ants or other insects.
The hot springs where also beautiful and clean (fresh water every day in all springs and pools). The only thing we didn't realize from the website was that there are four other cabins and that the park is open for day visitors. During our stay it was holiday for Tico's also, which means many visitors between 10:00 and 18:00 hours.
Perfect place for enjoying Arenal also!
Our family really enjoyed staying in the tree house for two nights! Kathy greeted us very warmly and gave a detailed tour of the hot springs and surrounding area. The hot springs were relaxing and it was nice to mix with Ticos. The dinner we were able to order was delicious. The treehouse is more "rustic" than a hotel in town but definitely a fun experience.
Kathy and Bernie are magnificent hosts! Kathy gave us so many useful tips and shared great stories! The tree house is absolutely serene! Waking up to the sounds of the rainforest and the running creek - Ah! What can be better?! The hot springs are yet another addition to the experience! We have had them almost all to ourselves! Great design and beautiful surroundings! I highly recommend staying with Kathie and Bernie!
Séjour extra dans un lieu particulier! Kathy et Bernie sont très accueillants. La maison est bien équipée et située dans un cadre reposant. Nous avons pu profiter des sources chaudes juste pour nous ainsi que de tous les sons de la forêt (et ce, jour et nuit!)
Bio Thermales was a most lovely place to stay in the stunning countryside of northern Costa Rica. We had a marvelous time on our honeymoon with Kathy and Bernie at their wonderful retreat, nestled in the pristine rainforest a comfortable distance from the business and rigor of metropolitan life.
Most notable was the assistance we received from our hosts every step of the way. Planning and execution was a seamless, effortless feat throughout the entire process. Right off the bat, Kathy provided a plethora of information and recommendations immediately after we booked our reservation. She then answered our many questions promptly by email as we prepared for our trip, and made arrangements for our transportation and recreation prior to our arrival. She made sure to check on us regularly and took care of all of our needs throughout our time as her guests.
We chose to hire the personal tour guide recommended by Kathy for both our transportation to and from the airport and for our sight-seeing day trips. Serving as driver, translator, and guide, he did a fantastic job, making sure to accommodate everything we wanted to do and more. He was very knowledgeable, courteous, and personable throughout our many (website hidden) Thermales itself was exquisite. The all natural mineral hot spring and cool water pools were deeply cleansing and refreshing, even healing, and are maintained with great diligence. The grounds are beautiful, to say the least. We enjoyed the hiking trail where we explored natural beauty in a quiet and serene atmosphere right outside our back balcony. We had 24 hour access to the pools, which we took ample advantage of. It was an atmosphere conducive to a very relaxed and peaceful time, but also one full of adventure and excitement.
It must also be mentioned that the treehouse is a fascinating structure that appeals to the child-like wonder in all of us. It was comfortable and cozy, with enough amenities to prepare a full meal if one would so choose, but simple so as to create the feel of a true rainforest excursion. Though rugged in its own right, we were still pampered with resort-like finishes (flower arrangement on the balcony table and swan towels on the master bed). Though perhaps more susceptible to mosquitoes and ants than the casitas, we both agree that it is definitely the best choice for a trip to the hot springs.
Lastly, as an added bonus, on our last night we got to share a stimulating conversation with Kathy and Bernie over wine and hor d’oeuvres about their journey together, their experience working with ecosystems (most notably the biosphere in Arizona), and the origins of their sanctuary. We had a blast conversing with them about their rich history and heritage. It was the icing on the already delicious cake that was our time there.
Ask about the cocoa tour, make sure to get plenty of “refrescos naturales”, and great thanks to Kathy, Bernie, and Frank for a delightful and unforgettable honeymoon!
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.
This host has 255 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.