Centro Ecoturistico La Maquina
If you are looking for a great place to get away from the heat and bustle of Managua, look no further than the Centro Ecoturistico La MÃ¡quina (La MÃ¡quina Ecotourist Center). This stunning natural area is located roughly 58 kilometers from Managua and can be easily reached by car or bus. Situated in the department of Carazo, most of the traveling takes place on paved or tarred roads so the trip is a pleasurable one. Just take the road from Diriamba towards the La Boquita Road. The turn to La MÃ¡quina can be found roughly halfway down this road and from here it is only a short drive to the reserve.
The Centro Ecoturistico La Maquina has a lot to offer and is the perfect destination for a quick and enjoyable day trip. To start with, there are a number of great hiking trails that wind their way through the reserve and allow you to get close to a number of the reserve's best spots. They vary in level of difficulty and may be scenic, educational or simply allow you to enjoy the beauty of a tropical dry forest. For many though, the highlight of a trip to the center is the stunning waterfall that can be found right near the park's entrance. The river that supplies this small natural spectacle runs through the reserve over a distance of about two kilometers, so the water is quite clean. The pools that form below the falls are perfect for swimming. Remember to bring your costume though, because skinny-dipping is prohibited. The waterfall ensures that the air here is always cool and moist â€“ regardless of how dry the season is. It provides the perfect setting for the nearby restaurant where you might want to grab a bite to eat. The restaurant has a limited menu that is more than sufficient to satisfy your appetite and the surrounding natural setting will quickly set your mind at ease.
Not far from restaurant you can find a great little camping area and a rest room. There is a small entry fee that you will have to pay before entering the center, but it is always money well spent. La Maquina is open between 8am and 6pm every day. During certain times of the year the center is also used to host a number of organized cultural events such as folkloric dances and the El GÃ¼egÃ¼ense performance, which depicts the resistance of the native people against the Spanish. So come and enjoy the vast beauty of this great little ecological center, which features tropical dry forest, forest plantations and regenerating forest. There are plenty of birds, mammals and reptiles to see as well as a variety of spectacularly big trees to see that will leave you with fond memories of this natural treasure.