People usually go to Monteverde for one reason: to wander the Monteverde Cloud Reserve. For a $10 entrance fee, you have access to all of the trails throughout the reserve (and you can have a guide for an additional cost as well). We decided that a guide was unnecessary and so enjoyed wandering the forrest by ourselves; a real jungle for sure. If you want tidbits of facts that you’re likely to forget, go for the guide, although we aren’t so sure that you’d see much more with one.
The nature walk offers pretty jungle views, but you’re unlikely to see a lot of wildlife – we asked people that we passed on the trail if we were just useless wildlife spotters, but they weren’t seeing much of anything either. There are definitely beautiful birds in the reserve, but they’re difficult to spot. We got lucky and spotted a quetzal, the national bird of Costa Rica, both when we arrived and in the reserve itself; they’re absolutely stunning, colorful birds.
It takes about 5-6 hours to complete all of the trails, which are well marked and well maintained. The busses go to/from Monteverde to the reserve pretty regularly, with the first bus at 7:30am and the last bus back to Monteverde at 4pm.