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).
Parents of young children 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.
Cathy and Bernie kept in contact with us prior to our arrival; they were very attentive to making sure the visit went well. The treehouse overlooks the other buildings on the property in the front and in the back the seating/picnic areas for day visitors. We arrived on Sunday, so they were at full capacity with families visiting for the day. You will note many spas/springs in this geographic area, but Kathy and Bernie have made their location financially accessible for the average CR family. We did not take advantage of the springs until the following day when it was not so crowded (only one visiting family and other guests in cottage). We did not recall, but Kathy does indicate in the description, that Sundays are very busy; I would not recommend booking on this day if you are looking for peace and quiet but if you have young children, they would probably enjoy the activity. The pools are very refreshing and enjoyable, with two of the pools having slides to them which can be enjoyed by persons of any age. The trails through the forest and along the fields are a nice, relatively easy, walk compared to others we have done while in CR. You can sit on the porch and see many species of birds; we heard a family of Howler monkeys but did not see them but that is nature... not on demand. They do have Wifi but it is not available in the treehouse; this can be a minor inconvenience depending on your circumstances. After meeting Kathy and Bernie, you know that the tree house and biothermals spa is a labour of love.
This place is just awesome. We started our Costa Rica Trip here with our two young daughters and could not have chosen a better place. The water from the springs is pure, clean and so relaxing, the place is built with so much love and Kathy and Bernie are really great hosts, they try to do everything to make your stay as comfortable as can be. We stayed in the treehouse which added a nice little adventure especially for the kids and everything was perfect. Thanks for three wonderful days and a very relaxing start of our Costa Rica vacation!
The treehouse is beautiful and the hot springs are just what you need after a long plane ride. Kathy was well connected and helped make our transportation and tours a breeze. Pepe, the dog, is a fine ambassador.
Our stay in the rainforest tree house was a great experience. Kathy and Bernie were so helpful and accommodating during our entire stay. Kathy even helped print a map and researched directions to our next destination. If there was ever a problem or question Kathy and Bernie made you feel comfortable asking. The treehouse was beautiful and the hot springs were relaxing after a day full of activities. The treehouse is also a great home base and we recommend renting a 4WD car. We definitely will be coming back to Costa Rica! Thank you so much Kathy and Bernie for helping make our stay in Costa Rica so great!
All we can say is WE DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE!
The hosts were amazing, Kathy should be charging extra fees as tour guide... Bernie is an amazing Engineer seeing his accomplishments are worth the trip alone.
Definitely a trip we will remember and cherish.
We probably came at the wrong time. The pools were in constant maintenance. When the kids ended up floating in a foot of water clouded with leaves, Bernie offered the other pool that was filling up. It also had about a foot. We stayed only for one night so we did not get a chance to see if it became a more lively place.
You are right that had you been able to stay longer than one day, both of those cool spring pools would have been full, and the one your children used was indeed full within several hours. On the day you stayed with us, 2 of our 12 pools were being maintained, one cool spring pool with new paint and installing a new slide, but the children's slide in another hot spring pool that we intentionally fill with cooler water and is shallow for young children, and all the hot springs were available. When the children expressed disappointment that one cool pool was empty -- it had just been painted several days before and we wished to let it have one more day to be sure the paint was dry -- my husband offered and then filled the pool and he said the children seemed to be enjoying floating in inner tubes in it. It initially had one foot of water as it started to fill but continued to fill until it was full, but we do not know when the children left it. The other cool spring pool was being drained for cleaning -- we do this on a rotation basis so that there are always other pools available -- and it might have had some leaves in it because it is in the forest and not yet cleaned. We clean and maintain the hot springs pools every morning between 7 and 8 am, except if guests are using them; in such cases, the maintenance staff wait until the guests move on to other pools before draining and cleaning them. We regret that the Tree House was available only for the one day of your visit, and we are preparing to build another Tree House to give guests more opportunities for longer stays. Thank you for your visit and feedback.
This place is magical! The treehouse is BEAUTIFUL with a full kitchen and a lovely lofted bedroom and wrap-around porch. The hot springs, especially the one in the jungle, are incredible-- so relaxing! Kathy and Bernie were wonderful hosts, arranging to have a DELICIOUS dinner and breakfast delivered for us and helping us with directions and where to go next. Go here!
This host has 237 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
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.