For us it was a glimpse into old Costa Rica. It doesn't look like much has changed there visibly since my last visit 35 years ago. You will definitely want to arrange to have a guided tour. Is it worth the bucks? ..I say yes if you like the idea of supporting horticultural and agricultural research or the grad students themselves (I don't know how the guide fee is processed, hope the guide keeps it) . This guided tour is low on the excitement scale but good for people interested in what they do at CATIE.
A special part is the close viewing of the exotic oropendola birds who make hanging, swinging nests...google it.