La Máquina encompasses 13 hectares of tropical dry forest, plus 15 hectares with forest plantations that include tree species like mahogany and cedar, and 60 more hectares of regenerating forest. This last area is part of the reserve’s reforestation program. Animals that can be seen include birds, small mammals, lizards, snakes, and other animals common to tropical dry forest. The reserve also houses some huge, ancient trees that are a spectacle for the eye.
The reserve offers a wide variety of possibilities to its visitors. First of all, the reserve offers several trails of varying length and difficulty. One of them leads to an ancient rock cliff that tells the geological history of the site. Another one reaches a beautiful viewpoint that provides some excellent views of the surrounding area. Other trails guide visitors through the large tropical dry forest.
Yet there are more natural attractions at La Máquina. A beautiful waterfall is located right at the entrance of the reserve. The river that supplies water for this cascade runs for two kilometers through the reserve, humidifying the area even during the dry season. There is also a simple restaurant located right at the entrance, great for grabbing a bite and enjoying nature.
Furthermore, cultural events are organized at the reserve on Sunday. Folkloric dances and performances tell the famous story of El Güegüense, which is a famous, internationally recognized play depicting indigenous resistance against the Spanish colonizers.
The reserve is located less than 60 kilometers away from Managua, in the department of Carazo. It is easily reachable by road. To get there, take the road from Diriamba that leads to the beach towns of La Boquita and Casares. La Máquina is located halfway down this paved road. The entrance is to the right, and there is a large sign at kilometer point 58½. It takes about 15 minutes from Diriamba to reach the reserve. There are also buses that connect Diriamba and the beach towns, which can also be used to reach the reserve.