Once Upon a Treehouse


The infamous treehouse. So cool!

With the Arenal Volcano in our rear-view mirror, we headed toward what was to be my favorite part of the trip. For my birthday, Rob booked a stay at an eco lodge called Bio Thermales (in English: Hot Springs). Having just been made acutely aware of the downside of biodiversity, I was a little nervous about our accommodations.


Welcome to BioThermales!

We drove up an unassuming dirt road in the middle of who-knows-where, parked in front of a small building, and were met by Kathy and Bernie with warm smiles and fascinating stories.

We talked about what we had done so far, where we should visit next, and got the full low-down on the BioThermales setup, including birds to watch for, snakes to watch (out) for, and pro tips on which hot springs to try at certain times of day, as well as their personal histories (and the history of BioThermales itself)

What initially appeared to be a typical hot springs resort quickly revealed itself as a massive DIY project created by two geniuses who sought out a new challenge after making history. Kathy and Bernie, unbeknownst to us, were two key contributors to the Biosphere 2 Project in Arizona. Everything – from the road, to the landscaping, to the hot spring jacuzzis, to the cabins and treehouses, was planned, calculated, and built by the dynamic duo. At the completion of each mini-project, they look around and decides what they want to build next. At the time of our visit, Bernie was hard at work on Treehouse #2.

The treehouse we stayed in was gorgeous. Beautifully constructed with an insane amount of ornate details, the in-person experience easily blew the AirBNB photos out of the water. My second favorite part of the treehouse was its height off the ground (key for discouraging unwanted visitors) and the seals around windows and doors.


The view from the treehouse.


A look at the detailed construction of the treehouse (from the inside).

The critter-proof treehouse allowed us to forget about possible creepy-crawlies and instead observe the nature all around us. We saw birds, frogs, and even noticed iguanas chillin’ in the trees surrounding the treehouse. Surrounded by iguanas?!! Relax people, they are lethargic vegetarian lizards. They operate off of the “if you’re going to be a dick, then I’ll be a dick” philosophy of life, so we politely left each other alone.

Bright green tree frog.

Cute little frog we discovered on a walk around the property.

Note about food: Without a restaurant on-site, Kathy and Bernie have a local chef deliver fresh-cooked meals to the property via motorcycle! That’s my kind of fast food.


Our moto-delivered meal. Yum!