About Las Paylas (Las Pailas)
Las Paylas (or Las Pailas) is the name of a natural water slide on the Río Pitahaya (according to GoogleMaps) or Río Sabana (according to Garmin, which has the Pitahaya River in the next drainage to the east).
It’s pretty straightforward to visit as all I had to do was to show up to the private property providing access (see directions below), and then pay the $5 per person admission before walking a few minutes down to the river.
Unfortunately, my mid-afternoon experience was complicated by a heavy downpour just when I showed up, which forced me to wait it out, and that made most of the people there leave in the meantime.
So I didn’t get a chance to see people actually sliding down la chorrera (Puerto Rican Spanish for “the slide”) nor making the climb up to the top of the slide.
In fact, in the aftermath of the heavy rains, I was all alone at Las Paylas even though I showed up on Good Friday (i.e. the Friday before Easter Sunday).
From what I could tell, all the rocks were very slick and wet, which didn’t make it obvious for me to see how to get up to the top of the slides.
In addition, the plunge pool at the bottom of the slide of Las Paylas became murky with the storm runoff.
I also noticed quite a bit of litter around the pool at the base of the water slide.
I’m not sure if this is something that the owners actively maintain or if other people figured out a way to get here without going throug the property and depositing litter.
I didn’t do any additional scrambling to see if there were more cascades further downstream, especially given how slippery and prevalent the rocks in the river were.
Overall, I only spent about 30+ minutes away from the car as another round of rain was threatening, but I easily can envision myself staying longer under more benign conditions for going down that water slide!
Las Paylas reside on either the Río Sabana or Río Pitahaya (depending on which map you believe) in the municipality of Luquillo, Puerto Rico. As far as I know, parking and access is through private property.
According to the helpful Puerto Rico Day Trips website, the owner of the property with the most convenient access is named Carlos Concepción, who is usually there except Thursdays. There may also be alternative access from neighboring properties, but I can’t substantiate that. You may want to consult that website for the latest information since it is run by Americans who have moved from New Jersey to Río Grande. Thus, they can reconn or have connections to locals and can provide updates to the latest conditions and ownership situations.
Since Las Paylas Water Slides are pretty close to the Luquillo Kiosks and Beach, I’ll describe how we drove from there.
Going east on the PR-3 (which required us to make a U-turn going west before heading east), we then drove to the major traffic light where we took a ramp to the right onto the PR-992.
Then, we followed the PR-992 for about 3/4-mile and kept left to continue on the PR-991 for a little over a mile before turning right onto the PR-983.
Once on the PR-983, we then took this road uphill for about a mile keeping a close eye on the easy-to-miss private property with a gate and entrance for Las Paylas.
Once the correct entrance is found, we then took the driveway down a slope where there’s a small lot with maybe room for a half-dozen cars.
There’s a window where I paid the owners $5 for access down to Las Paylas though I went alone since it was pouring buckets of rain at the time.
Overall, Luquillo was about 9km (typically about 15 minutes drive) west of Fajardo, and about 50km (about 45 minutes drive depending on traffic while also using the toll PR-66) east of San Juan.
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