I have been to this reserve twice. It really is a beautiful place. The trail system is well developed and easy to follow. My first trip I went with a general guide named Bernald who was very wonderful and found many things for us to see that I would have walked right past unless I had been with someone with a trained eye and a intimate familiarity with the reserve. I highly recommend hiring one of the local guides. We saw a beautiful resplendent quetzal within the first 10 minutes of the walk the first visit and saw another before even leaving the parking lot on the morning of my second visit. The second visit we were with a guide named Adrian that specializes in birding and we were not disappointed. We saw many wonderful species that day.
Both visits we spent time with a guide and then spent additional time walking the trails and exploring on our own. The trail to the waterfall is a nice easy hike. The trail out to the bridge is a little climbing but not too strenuous. I saw more quetzals out in that area - one flew circles around me while I stood by myself on the bridge. It was a magical moment for this bird lover. We also saw emerald toucanets in this area. The hike to the high point - the continental divide is nice but because of the clouds that form we did not have any views.
A must see is the hummingbird garden across the parking area from the reserve entrance. They have many feeders up there and you can get some great photo opportunities of the many varieties of hummingbirds in this area. The little cafe there also has good coffee, hot chocolate and snacks. There are many public and private reserves in the Monteverde Cloud Forest area and they all have a bit of a different feel but all are wonderful to visit and this reserve is no exception. My first visit here was with a friend in April 2012. My second visit was with my boyfriend in October 2012.
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