Las Pailas (Carr. 983, Barrio Yuquiyu, Luquillo) is about as off the beaten path as you can get. This natural waterslide is formed by a mountain stream cascading over a smooth but rocky descent that bottoms out in a chest-deep pool of crystal-clear water. Locals come here on weekends to mount the “horse,” a saddle-shaped rock at the top of the descent, and slide down the rocks, landing in the natural pool below. If you’re lucky, you’ll see expert showboaters slide down on their bellies, face first, or even on foot.
Las Pailas is not an official tourist site. There are no signs, facilities, parking, or rules, although visitors should be mindful of respecting the property and not leave any trash behind. Although it’s primarily a locals’ spot, visitors are welcome, especially if they prove their mettle by taking a ride.
To get to Las Pailas from San Juan , take Highway 3 east. Turn right on Carretera 992 and go toward Sabana, and then turn right on Carretera 983. Las Pailas is behind the homes that line the right side of the road. The best access is behind house No. 6051, distinguished by a cyclone fence. Homeowners along this stretch allow visitors to park for $5 and will point you toward a well-worn path that takes you to the nearby shoals. If you get lost, just ask.