The Mariposa Casita is one of two charming new cottages on the grounds of the 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 (see below for more information). Casita guests enjoy 24 hour hot springs access at no charge.
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 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° - 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 Quetzal.
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 have the opportunity to experience warm and friendly Tico culture. Bio 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.
|Room type:||Entire home/apt|
|Bed type:||Real Bed|
|Extra people:||$12 / night after 2 guests|
|Weekly Price:||$450 /week|
|Monthly Price:||$1300 /month|
|Check Out:||12:00 PM (noon)|
Wir hatten tolle drei Tage in den Bio Thermales. Kathy, Bernie und Johan haben ein kleines Paradies erschaffen. Die Hot Springs und die ganze Anlage sind sauber gehalten. Das Catering von Shirly ist grosszügig und typisch Tico, sehr lecker.
Über Kathy haben wir mit Frank einen grossartigen Guide vermittelt bekommen. Wenn man etwas über die Region erfahren will, muss man Frank buchen. Er ist zudem ein excellenter Begleiter, Fotograf und auch Gesprächspartner.
Wir können einen Besuch in den Bio Thermales nur empfehlen. Danke Kathy, Bernie, Johan und Shirly!
Eric und Marina
Kathy and Bernie are great hosts. Kathy was really helpful with travel plans before we got there. She answered so many of my emails with great info about the area and CR in general.
We stayed in the Mariposa for a week. It's a little out of the way but it's a bit of paradise in the middle of the rainforest and a great place to unwind. The pools Bernie made and the grounds are fabulous! A little busy with locals during the day, especially Sundays, but not too busy to bother you. In the mornings you can sit outside with your coffee and enjoy the peace and quiet and the wildlife, and the place is all yours after 6 pm. Sit in the gorgeous natural thermal pools by yourself or maybe with guests from the other two cabins, no one else - 9 or 10 to choose from, hot to cool. Bring a small flashlight or headlamp if you can - helped to get to the pools.
The casita is fantastic. Good kitchen, big bathroom and shower, air conditioning, queen bed, all very clean. We heard howler monkeys, saw an iguana, hummingbirds, fireflies, all kinds of other birds, all from our porch. The Mariposa is the best casita - has the biggest swing.
Grocery stores and gas stations are close by, you can have meals delivered by Shirley, good food near by, everything you need.
If you can make it work, DO go on the slow river float and rainforest hike with Humberto Arias! It was the most fabulous day of our two-week trip. Kathy can arrange that.
Big thumbs up for this spot, so happy that I found it - would stay there again for sure - we loved it!
Thank you so much to Kathy and Bernie and everyone that helps them out!
Late night sessions in the hot springs, atv jungle and volcano tours, Kathy and Bernie are incredible hosts that made us feel like visiting family.
I really enjoyed this small version of a hot springs resort in the Arenal area. It was magical at night to sit in the natural hot spring and cool off in the adjoining fresh water pools. The hosts, Kathy & Bernie were great! Attentive but not overly prying. My casita was much more spacious than I had imagined. It was really neat to stay there. I read about the ants from another reviewer. There were tiny ants that appeared if you left any food out. I thought it might be the more humid climate but no, I saw these tiny ants in EVERY location in Costa Rica. But they are no big deal.
I was grateful for the other reviewer who cautioned that it got busy over the weekend. It was pretty busy during the week despite the really rocky long dirt road. I wouldn't want it any busier. I also really enjoyed the hiking trail on the property. It was just difficult enough to work up a sweat. The only drawback to this place is the location ends up being far from nearby volcano tours so you have to pay a good amount extra for a tour guide to drive you 45 min. Luckily Kathy was extremely helpful in arranging that well before I got there. Everything she booked for me worked out great! I was much happier being there than at a touristy and crowded hot springs.
Kathy is a very sweet lady and her husband Bernie is the artisan who brings wood to life, he has carved out the casitas to a 'pura vida' level.
We going to miss Pepe their dog, we developed a nice friendship and am going to keep in touch with them if he ever goes up for sale.
Overall the thermal baths were excellent, the setting is beautiful, the forest sounds, the wildlife (seeing toucans, kingfishers, wood peckers, butterflies, armadillos etc) was excellent. Hearing the howler monkeys. No complaints, definitely recommended.
The place is best if you have a car and we knew about that but all we wanted to do was relax in the forest and go to the thermal baths. If you plan to stay there for 1 or 2 nights, we would recommend a weekday not a weekend as it gets really busy.
We were in the forest/jungle so we expected a few bugs. Mosquitos were not a problem but we did find a bit of an ant issue in the casita so just keep all food well sealed.
Overall, definitely recommended.
Thanks Kathy for saying I was neat or tidy, others may not share your opinion. This is an extraordinary place, and what makes it so, is Kathy and Bernie they are a great team, and great souls, going out of their way to accommodate and make sure your stay is in the pura vida style. Great hosts I hope to return soon with more of my clan
Unfortunately I can't give feedback on the place as we arrive late in Costa Rica and were unable to make it up to the casita, but I will say that Kathy and Bernie were extremely great to work with and send us all the information we needed, including some tips and guidance for the surrounding area that could help make our trip more fun. They went above and beyond.
This place was beautiful!!! The only negative part for us was that we wanted to go and do things and everything was at least an hour drive away. Other than that we truly enjoyed our stay!!!
On a passé un séjour très agréable avec notre petite fille dans la cabine papillon. L'autre maison a l'air très bien aussi. Tout est propre, bien entretenu, et sécurisant. Pour les petits enfants je déconseille la maison en hauteur.
Kathy a été très prévenante et généreuse en conseil lors de notre arrivée. Bernie est l'artisan de ces magnifiques boiseries et des multiples piscines.
Biothermale a été le premier lieu de ce type créé autour de ces sources. Quelques autres hébergements et piscines plus rustiques se développent tout autour mais Biothermale reste la figure de proue affectionnée des touristes comme des locaux.
On a vu des tas d'oiseaux, des singes, et de gentils reptiles.
Truly secluded which is what we were looking for, yet close enough to main roads and nearby towns. Lovely hot springs, certainly are far more "natural" than those at the big name resorts near Arenal, which was also what we were looking for. Loved our casita and very much enjoyed our stay. Beautiful!