Discover Petroglyphs on Piedra Escrita in Jayuya

La Piedra Escrita in Jayuya

Puerto Rico has a long history of Indian cultures that lived here many hundreds to thousands of years ago. The most recent Indian culture, the Tainos, were really into making drawings or carvings (called petroglyphs) on rocks near rivers or in caves.

Coming across this evidence of indigenous people is always something that I find very cool. I really like seeing the petroglyphs, wondering what messages the people were trying to leave, and for whom or what those messages where intended.


Piedra Escrita Recreation Area

La Piedra Escrita in Jayuya

The town of Jayuya has a nice example of a written rock (piedra escrita, in Spanish) that contains many different Taino petroglyphs. The town has even created a recreation area (La Area Recreativa La Piedra Escrita, in Spanish) with a beautiful wooden walkway down to the river and rock so that everyone can appreciate this artifact.


La Piedra Escrita in Jayuya

The petroglyphs are carved into a large rock in the middle of Río Saliente in Jayuya. Most of the drawings are on the top and on the river-side of the rock. There are all kinds of different shapes — many spirals, some faces and other beings.

There is a river where people swim and play in the water near this Piedra Escrita. Supposedly, there is another smaller rock with petroglyphs (La Piedra Taino) in the river about 1KM upstream. We found this trek upstream to be difficult — it is a large, fast-flowing river and it was deep in spots, too. Of course, this other rock is not marked, and we couldn’t find it. If anyone knows specific information about it’s location (GPS coordinates would be helpful), please leave us a note in the comments section below.


Preserving History?

La Piedra Escrita in Jayuya

One thing that I find odd, and will never understand, is how no one is trying to preserve this historical treasure. People are allowed to climb, play on, and even picnic on this rock. The promotional video for the town of Jayuya shows kids jumping off of it into the river! I really hope they try to limit this activity in the future, so the petroglyphs remain intact for future generations to enjoy.

There are many sites with petroglyphs and other evidence of the Taino culture across the island. If you enjoy this type of stuff, you might also want to check out La Cueva del Indio in Arecibo, La Cueva del Indio in Las Piedras or the Cemi Musuem in Jayuya. Additional things to do nearby in this area include the Cemi Museum, Canales House and the Dona Juana waterfall.


La Piedra Escrita in Jayuya

There is no fee to view these petroglyphs.

The recreation area is open during daylight hours.

Expect to spend about 30 minutes at this site.

You can contact Jayuya tourism office at 787-828-1241 for more information.

You can visit the Jayuya tourism web site for more information.

There is a restaurant (with restrooms) right next to the recreation area, but they’re not open every day.

The boardwalk and ramp that leads down to the river is wheelchair friendly, but it will be a big push back up to the parking area!

Piedra Escrita is accessible from Route 144 (between KM 7.7 and KM 8 ) in Jayuya. There is a good-sized parking lot right next to the ramp that leads to the river.

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ... 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 →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 4 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

This is a bucket list place. The water is rejuvenating. I could stay there forever. This rock needs protection from wear by tourists climbing on it

Comment by darrin jones on 01 Jul 2019

We drove across La Ruta Panoramica in April 2011-Very beautiful. We saw Piedra Escrita, also visited the Cemi Museum, Canales House, Dona Juana waterfall in the Jayuya area. We also visited the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Center in Utuado (Batey Sites) and the Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center in Ponce. Definitely check them out if you are interested in Taino history. Also went to Lares. Loved all the places. We learned quite a bit of the islands 1950s history that we were unaware of.

Comment by Jeri Waltrip on 17 Jul 2012

Our GPS coordinates are in the parking lot. Brittany's are along the boardwalk leading down to the river. Both sets of coordinates are correct.

Comment by Ray on 11 Jul 2010

Hi, I just wanted to say that GPS coordinates that I have for La Piedra Escrita recreation area are: 18.21636 -66.57351

Comment by Brittany Barker on 11 Jul 2010

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