Mariposa Casita with hand-carved doorMariposa kitchen with hand-carved doors
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Rainforest Casita2 with Hot Springs

Costa RicaAguas Zarcas
Entire home/apt
4 Guests
1 Bedroom
3 Beds
Per Night
659 travelers saved this place

About this listing

The Mariposa (Butterfly Casita) is hand-crafted, one of 3 casitas and 2 treehouses at the Bio Thermales natural resort organically integrated into our 35 acre rainforest. Guests enjoy free 24 hour access to the 12 natural hot and cool springs pools of various temperatures and rainforest trails. 45 minute drive from La Fortuna and Volcano Arenal, 3 hour drive from the SJO airport, 4 hour drive from Liberia airport. Great for couples, solo adventurers, and families.

The Space
Accommodates: 4
Bathrooms: 1
Bedrooms: 1
Beds: 3
Check In: Anytime after 2PM
Check Out: 12PM (noon)
Pet Owner: Dog(s)
Room type: Entire home/apt


Extra people: $16 / night after 2 guests
Cleaning Fee: $10
Weekly discount: 15%
Cancellation: Strict


The Space

The Mariposa (Butterfly Casita) is hand-crafted, one of 3 casitas and 2 treehouses at the Bio Thermales natural resort organically integrated into our 35 acre rainforest. Guests enjoy free 24 hour access to the 12 natural hot and cool springs pools of various temperatures and rainforest trails. 45 minute drive from La Fortuna and Volcano Arenal, 3 hour drive from the SJO airport, 4 hour drive from Liberia airport. Great for couples, solo adventurers, and families.

The Mariposa Casita is one of three charming cottages and two Tree Houses on the grounds of our Bio Thermales Hot Springs natural resort organically integrated into our 35 acre rainforest preserve with natural hot and cool springs pools 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. The 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":

Mariposa Casita (Butterfly Casita) is listed as "Rainforest Casita2 with Hot Springs"

Colibri Casita (Hummingbird Casita) is listed as "Rainforest Casita3 with Hot Springs" (add a 1 in front of the page number or Airbnb's automated system will interpret it as a phone number and hide it)

Tree House: "Rainforest Tree House with Hot Springs"

Tree House2: "Rainforest Tree House2 with Hot Springs" (add a 13 in front of the page number or Airbnb's automated system will interpret it as a phone number and hide it)

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 -- a local agency has set up a fiber optic WiFi system that is wonderful when it works but sometimes the system fails for a day or part of a day. The agency is working to make the system stable, but we cannot guarantee internet connection 24 hours/day. If constant internet access is very important to your work, please take this into consideration. Sometimes Android hot spots will work -- but the reason the agency installed the fiber optic system is because our community took them to court for creating a situation wherein many rural areas of Costa Rica have unstable WiFi signal and no options to consistently resolve the problem, which is also heavily affected by rain or even distant turbulent weather.

• 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
• 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° - 103°F (31° - 40°C)
• Grotto Pools in meadow flow from the 104°F/42°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
• 2 Freshwater Cool Spring swimming pools with water slides (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 a 1.5 hour drive east to Volcano Poas National park or 1.5 hour drive west to the less trodden cloud forest of the Eternal Rainforest of the Children 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 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 and a large medium temperature hot spring pool are located in the rainforest (access during daylight hours only for guests' safety), and 5 hot springs pools as well as 2 cool natural spring swimming pools with water slides, are located in a meadow, surrounded by rainforest (unlimited access because there are lights and low risk of encounters with wildlife). One shallow hot spring pool of moderate temperature also has a water slide for young children. The pools are cleaned daily from 7 am to 8 am, starting with the highest rainforest pools (which fill rapidly and will be available at 7:45 am).

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.

We are in the countryside in a non-touristy rural area of family farms, orchards and rainforest, off the beaten tourist track. The last 2 km are unpaved country roads. Guests should expect a natural environment, integrated into the rainforest, with the usual wildlife native to a tropical rainforest (except there are no large jungle cats like jaguars). We are a 45 minute drive from the many activities in Fortuna/Volcano Arenal, including volcano hikes, ziplines, swimming in the pristine waters below the La Fortuna Waterfall, white water rafting and slow "safari float" rafting to see monkeys, sloths and other animals. Closer to us is a slow river raft tour, rainforest hikes or horseback riding, and a visit to the Iguana Bridge with many large iguanas within a 15 minute drive.

Public bus transport is available to nearby locations but not directly to us (the remainder of the journey being easily arranged from Aguas Zarcas by taxi). Public bus transport should be undertaken only by those experienced in public transport in Central America, preferably with backpacks and who speak Spanish. Private shuttles and private drivers are available, in addition to private rental car delivery to the guest's lodging and a special package for our guests, which includes a free cell phone for use in Costa Rica, discounted rates and a 100% guarantee that the quote will be complete and honest (no hidden fees).

Day visitors and groups are permitted entrance to use the hot springs and cool springs pools from 9 am to 6 pm. There are usually more day visitors on weekends, especially Sundays, and we recommend booking week days for more tranquility and privacy. If guests book a longer reservation that includes a Sunday, we recommend planning a day tour in the many nearby activities on Sundays. Day visitors must leave by 6 pm, and only casita and Tree House guests may use the pools after 6 pm and enjoy unlimited access to the pools, with the exception of no nighttime use of the forest pools, and cleaning schedule as noted above.

We recommend either ordering a catered dinner in advance for your first evening and/or next morning breakfast, or buying and bringing groceries to cook because we are 4 km from the main paved road and driving after dark is highly discouraged until drivers have quite some experience on Costa Rican roads. Also, most guests prefer to settle in upon arrival and not to have to get back in the car and drive out to dinner. We provide a Catering Menu to each guest once reserved, but the caterer requires advance notice of selected meals and TIMES guests would like meals delivered. We do not have a liquor license and guests must bring their own beer/wine/rum etc. The tap water is safe to drink, and we sell soft drinks, fruit juices, and other non-alcohol beverages, snacks and ice cream.

House Rules
No smoking
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
Check-in is after 2PM

No smoking inside the casita. 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. This is Costa Rican law and will apply to any location in Costa Rica. 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. No loud music or noise after 8 pm.

Safety Features
First aid kit
Safety card
Fire extinguisher

1 night minimum stay

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Your Host

Kathy & Bernie

Kathy & Bernie

Tucson, Arizona, United States · Member since November 2009

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.

Response rate: 97%(past 30 days)
Response time: within a few hours

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