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

Entire home/apt

4 Guests

1 Bedroom

3 Beds

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Ages 2 - 12
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Under 2
4 guests maximum. Infants don’t count toward the number of guests.
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About this listing

The Mariposa Casita is one of 3 charming cottages at our Bio Thermales Hot Springs natural resort organically integrated into our 35 acre rainforest preserve with 12 natural hot and cool springs pools in the north-central Costa Rican heartland. Guests enjoy free 24 hour access to the hot and cool springs pools and rainforest trails. 45 minute drive from Fortuna/Volcano Arenal; 3 hour drive from SJO airport, 4 hour drive from Liberia airport. For more tranquility, please book on weekdays.

The space

The Mariposa (Butterfly) casita is one of 3 hand-crafted casitas and 2 tree houses at our Bio Thermales Hot Springs eco resort, with many charming hand-crafted doors and features. The Mariposa is wheel chair accessible.

Please message us before booking if we will be either your first or last destination in Costa Rica to before booking if you wish to drive directly from the airport to us, so we can determine if this is safe and feasible. All roads from the SJO airport pass through cloud forests, which can be foggy even in the day, causing poor visibility on narrow, curving mountain roads, especially after sunset 5:30 and night driving is highly discouraged until drivers have quite some experience on Costa Rican roads.

We highly recommend booking on weekdays for more privacy and tranquility, as we have more day visitors to our hot springs from 9 am to 6 pm on the weekends, especially Sundays. If your reservation includes a Sunday, we highly recommend planning a day outing to the many wonderful nearby activities. We cannot guarantee our usual tranquil conditions on Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm.

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 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.

To see all our listings, including the Magical Jungle Tree House and the Colibri Casita3, please go to and on the left side of the page three listings will show. At the bottom of them, click on “View all listings” to see all 5 listings.

Mariposa Casita features (see floor-plan for all details):
• Wheel chair accessible
• Air-conditioning (but you probably won't need it)
• All onsite hot springs and recreation activities included
• Queen sized bed with orthopedic mattress and hypoallergenic bedding
• Two twin-sized bed/settee with thick foam mattress and hypoallergenic bedding
• Artistically hand-crafted rustic furniture from naturally harvested trees on the land
• Large 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
• No telephone or television
• Hosts Kathy and Bernie live onsite
• Languages: English, Spanish, German, limited French

Note on wifi -- we have a fiber optic cable to the main office that is about 98% reliable, but had to install repeaters to bring wifi signal to the casitas and tree houses. The repeaters are not as reliable, especially in bad weather. However, we can help you send or receive email one way or another via the fiber optic cable.

One time $10 cleaning fee; thereafter housecleaning services every 3 days are free.

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 from La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Catarata del Toro or Volcano Poas National Park.

We are happy to help guests arrange activities through trustworthy tour guides and companies.

Food/Meals: The Mariposa has a large well equipped 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 private driver, if you will not have a car.

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.

Spa services: massage and facial services are available by advance appointment by a masseuse from Quesada. She is not available on Mondays. Standard massage = $30/hour + a one-time transport fee of $25.

Great for couples, solo adventurers, and families.

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, 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 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 or we can help you arrange a private professional driver.

Last night in Costa Rica:
To drive directly to the SjO airport on the same day as your departing flight, you will need an afternoon or evening departing flight. For early morning departing flights, it is necessary to stay your last night near the airport.

Guest access

Guests enjoy 24 hour access to the hot springs, swimming pools and rainforest trails (except when the hot springs pools are being cleaned early in the morning). We do not recommend entering the rainforest after dark, but the meadow hot and cool springs (including water slides) may be used day or night because there are lights and wildlife normally do not enter this area because of the cut grass.

Laundry: we have a full laundry facility and we will do laundry for $5 per load (wash, dry and fold).

Guests may use the reception area to watch a big flat screen television (but most of the channels are in Spanish), visit with other guests or work on their lap tops.

Our laundry room is not available for guests to use, but guests may give their laundry to our staff and they will wash, dry and fold laundry for $5/load.

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 two young daughters, so there is always a staff member onsite.

Other things to note

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 to 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 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.

The space
Accommodates: 4
Bathrooms: 1
Bedrooms: 1
Beds: 3
Check In: 2PM - 6PM
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%
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House Rules
No smoking
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
Check in time is 2PM - 6PM

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.



Cancel up to 7 days before your trip and get a 50% refund plus service fees back.

Safety features
First aid kit
Safety card
Fire extinguisher

1 night minimum stay

132 Reviews

Check In
Patti User Profile
June 2017
we loved the wildlife. we loved the slide! and the hot mineral springs flowing into the artistically handcrafted pools, as well as the doors, beds, porch many things that show the care, vision and love that bernie and kathy have for their amazing creation! we were there for a long weekend and met many Ticos, which really added to our experience in this beautiful place.

John User Profile
May 2017
Kathy was great at all the prearrival dialogues, from driving considerations(POAS erruptions), to considering having my first meal or two catered in. Arriving at 5, then driving to town is not practical; the morning should be spent investigating the beautiful grounds(pools). As my prearrival weeks continued, Kathy kept in touch to make sure nothing was needed, and helped with a date change. When I arrived, thier greeeter Eva was super informative about everything and pleasant. She even took the time to provide an animal guidebook and point out which animals I was most likely to see, and what to be on the look out for. (stay out of the woods in the evening, always carry your provided flashlight, enjoy the pools in the woods during the day; AND the snakes will leave you be). She then walked the grounds with me to point out where the pools, the lights for the pools, and where the paths were. A good explanation of the room's features were given. Later that day I met Kathy and she was just as considerate. I say this because in my 6 years coming back to CR, I have never been pregreated/greeted so well! That treatment never stopped during the stay either. On the first day I went for a great hike, bring the offered walking stick, I had my own - wear boots. Going into tow for breakfast would have taken away from such great time on the grounds. I'm not going to go into that much details about the grounds, I think the other reviews will suffice. They are fantastic and Bernie and his groundskeepers have down a fantastic job in the grounds concept through to its maintenance. The pools were emptied and scrubbed each morning. Fantastic! While a couple were being done, others were still available - so there is no downtime for that pre/poatbreakfast soaking. I was worried that the catered food would arrive lukewarm as it is driven in. Not the case, and perhaps the best steak casado I had eaten in quite a few visits. Staff were always available, laundry service was well priced, great directions if I ever went into town as well as getting to SJO. The time of year allowed for solitude, there were local day vistors and other guests as well. Everybody well behaved. I truly wish I could have stayed longer, and I will be back. I believe one of the senior employees had stated he had been working with Kathy and Bernie for 9+ years, he exuded contentment! Good people.

Leslie User Profile
May 2017
A place not to miss with a lot of very useful information before arriving! Thank you so much! We just loved it!!! Hasta la proxima

Emily User Profile
April 2017
What a gem! This place is so special. We were in awe at all the work Kathy and Bernie have put into this property. It is truly unique and special. They were both very kind and happy to tell us about the many, many special parts of the resort. We only stayed for one night and were very sad to leave. Our cabin was very, very clean. The short walking trail was awesome (we didn't have time for the long one), and Pepe (the dog) was a great leader! The pools, ughhh, they're incredible. We swam for a few hours at night and went straight to the hot springs in the morning. What a glorious property.

Ivan User Profile
March 2017
Great place to stay, loved it, if we had more nights here we would definitely stay here; hot springs are awesome, very clean; saw a lot of birds, frogs at night as well as fireflies; Berny and Kathy are great hosts super helpful with anything even before arriving they sent a lot of great info about what to do and roads to take, awesome trip.

Ashley User Profile
March 2017
This place is amazing. Hard to describe how fantastic it is. The staff are great. The place is great. Loved how it was not located in town. We basically had private hot springs to ourselves every night once we got back from our activities we spent the evenings in the hot springs. Loved little Pepe their dog. This was everything and more! Highly recommend this place and will definitely be back. Kathy was also very helpful in preparation for our trip. Hope to meet her next time

Molly User Profile
March 2017
Absolutely amazing, within 10 minutes of arriving we decided to stay another night! Johan, the groundskeeper was very helpful and a great sub host since Kathy and Bernie were out of town. Would definitely recommend

This host has 658 reviews for other properties.

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Tucson, Arizona, United States · Joined in November 2009
Kathy & Bernie User ProfileKathy & Bernie is a superhost.

Pura Vida! (“Pure life” is an all-purpose greeting in Costa Rica, as well as a way of life.)

Kathy and Bernie 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: 100%
(past 30 days)
Response time: within a few hours
Exact location information is provided after a booking is confirmed.