The Mariposa 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.
The Mariposa Casita is one of three charming new cottages on the grounds of our 35 acre Bio Thermales rainforest reserve with natural hot springs in the north-central Costa Rican heartland of rural farms and orchards near Aguas Zarcas and San Carlos (Quesada). This is authentic Costa Rica: clean, comfortable and close to nature. Three hours north of San Jose (airport), 45 minutes east of Fortuna and Volcano Arenal. Mariposa Casita is wheelchair accessible.
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 non-volcanic and slightly acidic waters are rich in calcium and magnesium, low in sulfur.
Four of our 8 organic form hot springs pools are located in the rainforest, and 4 hot springs pools as well as 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). Casita guests enjoy 24 hour hot springs pools and 35 acres of rainforest access at no charge.
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.
Mariposa Casita features (see floor-plan for all details):
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.
• Wheelchair and special needs accessible
• Mariposa Casita is 25% larger than the Tucano Casita (also at Bio Thermales)
• Air-conditioning (but you probably won't need it)
• Queen sized bed with orthopedic mattress and hypoallergenic bedding
• 2 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 table, swing, hammock
• Maid service every 3 days included
• Laundry service at extra charge per load
• Short walk to rainforest and hot springs pools
• All onsite hot springs and recreation activities included
• No telephone or television
• Hosts Kathy and Bernie live onsite
• Languages: English, Spanish, German, limited French
• Casita indoors square footage = 435 sq ft, with roofed porch = 615 sq ft
One-time/visit $10 cleaning fee. Ongoing housekeeping service after that is (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 (naciente) 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
• Cold Spring Water swimming pool (all natural, continuous water flow)
• 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, colorful 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 from the less trodden cloud forest of Juan Castro Blanco National Park, with wonderful bird watching, including the Resplendent (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 have the opportunity to experience warm and friendly Tico (website hidden) Thermales is generally not crowded, however, except on major holidays.
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 at night, creating hazardous visibility conditions. 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.
Last night in Costa Rica:
Staying near the airport on the night before a departing flight is prudent – in case traffic, road or weather conditions cause unexpected delays -- unless you have an afternoon or evening departing flight.
Please email us before booking if we are your first and/or last destination in Costa Rica.
Five of our 10 organic form hot springs pools are located in the rainforest, and 5 hot springs pools as well as 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). 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.
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 away from the pools. 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.
We had the most amazing experience at Bio Thermales. The grounds are beautiful, the spas are delightful and Kathy and Bernie are very gracious and helpful hosts. We enjoyed our time there and loved the area. The new slides Bernie installed at one of the pools were very enjoyable. We're looking forward to our next visit and we hope that pool will have water in it, then the slides will be even more fun. If you have the chance to go to Costa Rica, you cannot do better than staying at Bio Thermales.
Kathleen Dyhr and Bernd Zabel built a beautiful compound of colorful discreet "casitas" surrounded by banana and coconut trees, and a treehouse (featured in Fortune magazine's treehouses around the world), with hot (42 degrees Centigrade) and cool (33 C) baths a short walk into the rainforest under a canopy of 500 year old trees occasionally visited by howler monkeys and crusty iguanas. The casitas are emblematic of the buddhist background and environmental respect of the owners: colorful tranquil beauty gently integrated with the stately 500 year old trees. Our "casita" with hand-made and hand carved wooden doors and a four poster bed crafted from found wood, was spacious, private, had a big porch under a canopy for watching sunsets and stars and for drinking early morning coffee, and it had views out the windows on the forest. You wake to entrancing bird sounds you've likely never heard, and a bag of fresh Costa Rican coffee. The owners and the staff are meticulous about cleanliness and always cognizant of environmental concerns, (recycling is de rigueur), and they've made a path through the lush, fragrant forest for a great, sometimes difficult hike up and down a mountain so guests can have an intimate experience of the origins of life. Our hosts were helpful to us in every way at creating a base for exploration anywhere in a magnificent country. Any questions you have, they provide information- brochures, contacts, directions, events, and even take you into nearby towns when they have trips planned. It was pure joy eating a meal of arroz con frijoles, or "gallopinto", and grilled chicken with fresh greens prepared by a neighbour and brought hot to our casita by her son on our first evening there. It was an option arranged by the owners who can also arrange for a massage, great after a long hike and a soak in the hot springs. They also provide wifi which can be slow because of the mandatory concrete construction; however, a short walk to the recepcion solves that and gives you an opportunity to chat at the picnic tables with visitors and hosts. One of the biggest joys I experienced besides the fantastic hiking along back roads and through the hills, was getting acquainted with Kathy, Bernd and Johan and their little black lab, Pepe. Only two words come close to describing these adventurous people and their creation- Pura Vida.
We knew Kathy and Bernie from a previous trip.They were so nice we
wanted to see them again.
We always enjoy their company.The combination of them and the
site makes it a location for repeat visits.
Bernie and Kathy are both just lovely people!
The lay out, the architecture, the art work, the design of the Biothermals, it's all fabulous!
They keep adding and improving the property with such things as more tree houses and slides for the hot tubs.
I stayed here a couple weekdays and it was pretty exclusive to us few tourist dwellers.
The wifi was decent. The hot springs were phenomenal! Seriously they felt sooo good.
The trail into their rain forest was pretty cool. I saw some real interesting wild life. Got to have courage for it though. I saw 4 Tolomuco's and they threw me a few growls. I thought I would have to fight them with my walking stick, but they stayed away from me. I was ready though.
Boots are a must for this walking trail and it does involve climbing and such.
Overall, I highly HIGHLY recommend staying here a couple days.
We had a wonderfull stay at Kathy and Bernies place - we enjoyed the hospitality and the surroundings (both indoor and outdoor) very very much. Kathy was very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. We had only one night, but we could easily have spend more days in this lovely place.
Very nice place to stay. The hosts were helpful and very kind! Lots to do and see in the area and very relaxing place to come back to. A bit off the beaten path and thats why we chose it, so it was a wonderful stay. Highly recommend going to the national parks and doing your own exploring, beautiful by the volcano!
The cabin that we stayed in was beautiful, clean, spacious, and comfortable. The hosts, Kathy and Bernie were incredibly sweet and helpful to me and my girlfriend. They give you tons of advice about everything you might wonder about (food, attractions, suggested travel routes), but maybe you didn't think about prior to your arrival. Their advice on how to get there was not heeded by us as we let our GPS guide us; that was a big mistake on our part. The road we took was dangerous and curvy. The route we took to leave, their suggested route for our arrival as well, was much safer and less stomach-churning. The bio thermals themselves are wonderful. It was such a relaxing end to our days out and about in the area to come back and sit in the well-built and clean natural hot springs. They employ a number of local Ticos and it felt nice to support this type of business. We happened to go during the end of the rainy season so the hiking trails were not in the greatest condition but they certainly felt like an adventure. The location was great for us. We made a couple of day trips to Volcan Poas, Volcan Arenal, and the Arenal Hanging Bridges. Our biggest regret about choosing Bio Thermales is that we didn't stay in the treehouse. It was gorgeous.
This host has 310 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.