"If you are looking for off the beaten path,
Bio Thermales is the most excellent accommodation, welcoming and exotic ... the hotsprings are beautiful ... the most unique experience of our Costa Rican trip. Words cannot express our gratitude for their planning assistance to ensure that our entire vacation was just as memorable as Bio Thermales."
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Bio Thermales located? Bio Thermales is in north-central Costa Rica, out in the beautiful countryside near La Palmera, northwest of Cuidad Quesada, San Carlos. We are 40 minutes west of Fortuna and Volcano Arenal. Our GPS coordinates are GPS N 10°25.567 W 084°22.280.
Where is the nearest airport? The nearest airport is the Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) in the city of Alajeula, near the capital San Jose. Travel time from the airport to Bio Thermales is 3 hours.
What transportation options are available to get to Bio Thermales?
Car Rental: We recommend Adobe Car Rental to avoid deceptive price-quoting scams.. Tell them you are a guest of Bio Thermales to get a special package with extra perks. Adobe will also deliver or pick up a rental car at Bio Thermales by prior reservation.
We can arrange convenient, safe and comfortable van transport directly from the airport or hotel to us for $165 for up to 4 persons.
Safe, comfortable private shuttles are available from Fortuna to most popular tourist destination. However since we are a bit off the beaten path, shuttles do not come to Bio Thermales directly. We can arrange a private driver to Fortuna for $50 (total, not per person) to connect with shuttles, and we can help make shuttle reservations.
Public bus transportation is inexpensive but can be time-consuming and a security challenge when traveling with luggage. Taxis are available at the bus station in Cuidad Quesada to drive you to Bio Thermales.
Taxis are plentiful in Costa Rica, but not cheap. For safety, use only licensed taxis with a yellow triangle, and be sure to verify the price before getting in the taxi.
A good waterproof map is indispensable because GPS is not yet reliable in Costa Rica. We recommend for good advice on driving and car rental in Costa Rica and for the most up-to-date road map.
Can I drive directly to/from the airport on the day of my flight? If your flight lands in the morning at the SJO airport, you can easily drive directly to Bio Thermales before dark. Why before dark? All routes from SJO the airport travel through mountainous cloud forests that are stunning in daylight, but prone to fog, rain and hazardous visibility at night. So we highly recommend driving either route from the airport only in daylight. Sunset is at 5:30 p.m. and the travel time from the airport to Bio Thermales is 3 hours, so we recommend starting the journey no later than 2 p.m. If your flight departs in the afternoon, you can drive directly to SJO airport. For morning departing flights, we recommend traveling to Alajuela the previous day and spending the night near the airport.
Is Bio Thermales easy to find? If you print our map and detailed driving directions, you should have no problem finding us in daylight hours. Sunset is around 5:30 p.m. Because Bio Thermales is in the countryside, and the last 3 km are poorly lit country roads, we highly recommend allowing ample travel time -- allowing a little extra for the unexpected -- to arrive before dark on your first visit.
GPS is not yet totally reliable in Costa Rica, so please don't rely solely on GPS. Please don't rely on accessing a map or website on a portable internet device -- you will encounter areas without signal.
To take the San Ramon route marked on our map, you will need to rely on the map and directions, not GPS. We recommend this route for better road and traffic conditions -- and it is well marked with road signs.
A map in hand is a good thing! Please be aware that road signs indicating towns and road numbers are infrequent. So be sure to bring a printout of our map and driving directions, which also contains our phone numbers in case you need to call.
What nearby tours and activities are available? We are happy to help you plan and reserve tour activities in Fortuna and Volcano Arenal like volcano watching, ziplines, hanging bridges hikes through the rainforest canopy, white water rafting, wildlife viewing tours by boat, horseback riding or guided nature or bird-watching hikes. Fortuna is an easy 30 minute drive. Transportation for those not renting a car include hiring a tour guide to also provide transportation or we can arrange a private driver to Fortuna for $50.
What is the weather like? Bio Thermales climate is generally pleasantly warm and humid, as our location is intermediate between the hot lowland forests and cooler mountain forests. Rain is always a possibility in the rainforest, although showers may be short and pleasant, even heavenly in the hot springs! Occasionally we have cooler nights (68° to 72°F) when a sweater or sweatshirt is welcome. In Costa Rica generally, late December to May is the dry season, with September and October being the months with heaviest rains. However, in Bio Thermales region, rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year with less intense extremes, which benefits the lush rainforest, dairy farms and fruit orchards youll see on your way here.
What should we bring? Swim suit, cotton tee-shirts, shorts, at least one long-sleeved lightweight cotton shirt and long pants or jeans, at least one sweater or light jacket, tennis shoes, flip flops, hiking boots if you will hike, bandana, a light rain poncho or hooded rain jacket, hat with sun visor, sunglasses, sun screen, favorite insect repellent, personal toiletry items, flashlight or headlamps, camera and binoculars.
Can we do laundry at Bio Thermales? We can do laundry for $5/load. Housekeeping service, including laundry of casita towels and linens, every 3 days is included at no charge. We are happy to supply fresh dry towels whenever needed.
What food and meal options are there? There are both small sodas and full service restaurants within a 15 minute drive.
The casitas have small kitchens and there is an excellent supermarket and fresh fruit and vegetable stands in Aguas Zarcas, also about a 20 minute drive. Catered meals are also available from a local cook at very reasonable prices for traditional Costa Rican dishes (not spicy but tasty, and you can add hot sauce if you like).
Is Bio Thermales safe? Our casitas are designed by architects and built to stringent Costa Rican building codes. We are in a safe countryside location of family farms, where everyone knows everyone else. But petty theft can be a problem in Costa Rica, especially in cities and major tourist areas, so it is wise never to leave valuables unattended or in your rental car, even if it is locked. Parents should supervise children at all times when they are in the hot springs pools and outdoors in a rainforest area.
What about gluten-free or other special diets? Costa Rica can be done gluten-free! We are happy to advise local alternatives, possible hidden sources to look out for, and help you create a printable Spanish translation of your allergies and special requests that you can bring to restaurants, grocery stores and pharmacies. You will need to be careful to ask questions, inspect labels and use good judgment on restaurant dishes, as anywhere.
If you don't find your answer here, please email us!
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