PuertoRicoDayTrips.comSponsored by Coqui's Hideaway - www.CoquisHideaway.com

Las Paylas or Las Pailas – A Natural Water Slide in Luquillo

Posted on Apr 29th, 2010 by • Updated on May 13th, 2014

Las Paylas in Luquillo

Being a rain forest, there are plenty of rivers that come down from El Yunque. Over many years, the rushing waters have made some of these river rocks into natural playgrounds, complete with pools and water slides. There is a place in Luquillo called Las Paylas (or Las Pailas) were the rocks in this river are really smooth and make for some really fun slides.

Geting an Orientation

The Las Paylas water slides (or chorreras, in Spanish) are very popular with the locals. This area is beautiful to look at. It’s a fun place to picnic and spend some time watching the people slide, or just to play in the water pools.

We went one afternoon during a holiday in the spring, and the place was pretty busy. I imagine, in the summer and especially on weekends in July, the place must be a mad-house full of people! But we purposefully went when we knew there would be some locals there to show us where to go and how to do it.

Las Paylas in Luquillo

I really recommend asking first, since there are recommended spots to get into the slides — which you won’t know unless you ask or watch for a while. The local kids are usually more than happy to show you the course. As expected, the kids (especially the young boys) will show off, doing all sorts of crazy sliding moves.

I was looking for basic, how-to tips. My main concern with natural water slides is how smooth they actually are — is my butt going to meet some rough rocks? I asked some teen girls and they assured me it was smooth, and gave me some pointers. OK — I was game.

There are two slide areas here. The bigger, faster one, and the smaller, slower one. I decided to try the slower one first!

The Lower & Slower Slide

Las Paylas in Luquillo

The slower slide is downstream (to the right) from where the trail meets the river. This does require a walk down the rocks. The locals go barefoot (and I bet it provides better traction), but I wore Crocs and Ray had water shoes. Footware with some traction is helpful.

This lower slide is about 12-15 feet long, and a straight course into the pool. It starts right after a pretty little waterfall cavern. I sat in this pool and enjoyed the water. It was chilly (or refreshing as we like to say!).

There were some local kids there and one of them showed me where to get into this slide, and he did it to show me how. Then it was my turn.

It was really smooth (thankfully!) and not too fast. The pool at the bottom was deep (about 8-10 feet) and the rocks were a bit slippery for getting out. But I enjoyed the ride enough to decide that I would try the faster, larger one.

The Upper & Faster Slide

The faster slide is upstream (to the left) of where the trail meets the river. For this one, you have to climb up the large rocks to the starting point. This slide is about 30 feet long and has some twists and turns. The girls told me to try to keep my arms in close to my body, so that I wouldn’t hit my elbows on the sides. They also suggested to try to remain upright. What they didn’t mention is that keeping my arms in would not help me balance through the twists and turns! But I was game, and off I went.

I was less than graceful, but I made it! It was fast and the turns do twist you around a bit. The pool at the end is also deep, but easier to get out of than the lower pool. I did end up getting a small scrape on my elbow, but it was fun!

If you watch the kids, many of them do run their hands along the walls as the go down for stability. Some of the kids do really crazy stuff — head first, standing up, a train — all kinda scary looking but fun to watch.

Details

There is no charge, per se, at the river. However, for easy access you can pay $5 to park or 50¢ per person to walk down some guy’s trail to the river.

The area had some trash from people’s picnics, but it wasn’t too dirty. Please try to keep the place clean — collect your trash and take it back home to throw away.

You are responsible for your own safety. Be cautious — these are slippery rocks, so you need to be careful when walking around on them. Also, never go into the rivers during a rain (flash floods happen often) and even take care a day or two after a heavy rain, since the current can be too strong to be safe. People have been hurt while playing in this river/water slide area. Respect nature and be safe.

Driving directions from San Juan: Take Route 3 until you get to the Sabana exit (it is the second exit for Road 992 you come to traveling east on Route 3). There is a sign just before the exit, but none right at the exit. It is the exit after Playa Azul corner. Take Road 992 and then make a left onto Road 991. Continue until you see a sign for Sabana and turn right onto Road 983. Follow Road 983 for a while. You will see a house with a chain link fence around the yard and the words Las Paylas on a garbage can and mailbox. This is what you’re looking for. There is a path down to the river at this house. You can pull in and park in this lot ($5 per car) or you can park along the road and walk into this property and pay 50¢ per person to use the path. The owner’s name is Carlos Concepcion. He said he is there almost every day. He told me that even if he is not home, you can come in and use his path (his dogs seemed tame) and if you see him later, you can pay him then. Nice guy. The trail down to the river is not too long (150 ft maybe), but it is steep in spots, and it can be muddy.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid ... then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

What Next?

Did you enjoy this article? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to our feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.

13 comments
Leave a comment »

  1. OMG I used to go here back when I was in high school in the 70s when I lived in PR. Happen to be headed to PR this summer for a short vacation this summer with husband and son. I was reminiscing about Las Paylas and resigned to fact that, a million years later, there’s no way I can remember how to find it to show them …and here it is! Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the info! We went today and had fun!

  3. I WENT TO PR IN MAY 2010 AND I FOUND THIS PLACE NO PROBLEM! CARLOS WAS A GREAT GUY AND I HAD SO MUCH FUN! I COULDNT FIND THE SMALL SLOWER AREA ONLY THE WATERSLIDE WHEN YOU FIRST GET DOWN TO THE RIVER. ONE SUGGESTION IS TO NOT START AT THE VERY TOP OF THIS WATERSLIDE BUT TO START HALF-WAY (YOU WILL KNOW WHEN YOU GET UP THERE, SEE VIDEO ABOVE) I STARTED AT THE TOP OF THIS WATERSLIDE AND ENDED UP GETTING SUCKED UNDER A ROCK! BE VERY CAREFUL. OTHERWISE HAVE FUN AS I KNOW I DID!

  4. This website is truly amazing! We visited Las Paylas last week and had the water slides to ourselves for quite some time on a Thursday afternoon. We also found a rope swing just a little downstream of the slower slides. We enjoyed jumping from the ledges into the deep pool below and were able to spend a good 3 hours splashing around in the area’s multiple wet amusements. The faster slide is extremely fun. If you try it head-first, make sure that you stay to the left so as to avoid the dry rocks on the right at the end. The instructions in this article will get you to the parking area with no troubles (thank you for this!)

  5. I have been reading around your website for about a year ever since I found out about adventures in Puerto Rico. I am FINALLY going in September, and the Las Playlas natural slides is on my top along with Las Tinajas, etc… All of my info on the waterfalls, waterslides, and off the beaten path hikes are from YOU – so thank you guys so much for sharing the knowledge of your island and all of its gems!! I’m very excited to experience it

  6. Wow what an adventure! Lately I’ve been trying to do more turimo interno and this website has been essential! The GPS coordinates we awesome the only change I found was when we arrived at the private parking which costs $2 the guy ended up charging us $5… for a second I felt stiffed but when I saw how well kept the trail to the falls was I completely satisfied.

    The falls were just gorgeous. Even though we are locals people were at first skeptic and protective of how we found that place we had to play nice and be extra friendly, they soon warmed up to us and began sharing some of the falls secrets with us. my brother and I were able climb up to the big “slide” and then the kids helped us climb down to the second fall. the rocks, the falls, the small water hole at the bottom, it was definitely worth the trip!

  7. Went there today and even though the guy said that it was running in the mountains and to “be careful”, we still had a BLAST! We had the place all to ourselves. I would have thought that on a Sunday afternoon the place would have been flooded with locals, but it was just us! We had a blast, doing the main slide, and lots of other little jumps, slides, nooks, and leaps! What a FANTASTIC place.
    The water level was REALLY high today, much bigger than on the video. Today the water was BLASTING into the pool at the bottom. Looked scary and we got our fair share of bruises and cuts, but it was worth it :)

  8. Our senior high school class sneak day was a trip to Las Pailas (Paylas). It was quite a challenge to find and get to since this was back in 1967. We all had a great time!

    Manuel E. Rivera-Cortes
    Class of 1967
    Episcopal Cathedral School
    Santurce, Puerto Rico

  9. Wow, what a find. We enjoyed the water slide and a few other hidden treasures in Puerto Rico thanks to your blog. Your site has THE BEST info I’ve found on Puerto Rican adventures. Thanks for enhancing our family vacation. Keep up the good work!

  10. The house I remember was my friend’s dad, Dick Doran, a sailor. The house was built of cedar overlooking
    the river. Stayed there once for 2 weeks with a friend. We would hike in the rain forest. The bamboo and ferns were huge. There was a rock we would dive off of into a pool and a rock slide that shot you into the middle of the pool. Was an amazing time.

  11. Was that Gwenn at the 50 second mark? If it was, she looks like she took a pounding.

  12. Yes, that was me. Not my best effort, but it really wasn’t as bad as it looked!

  13. I just went yesterday. What an amazing experience! After a local showed me how to get up there, I ended up sliding down like a dozen times, many of them face first! The directions and description are spot on! DEFINITELY a must go if you’re in PR!! :)

Leave Comment

Follow
Join Our Facebook PageFollow Us on TwitterFollow Us on PinterestAdd to Google+ CirclesSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via Email
scan with your smartphone

Scan QR Code to open this page on your smartphone, where you can save a bookmark to this article, so you can easily access it while on vacation!

× close popup after scanning