cayo perico guide

Cayo Perico Guide

Latest posts by Syed Arham (see all)

Playing through the Heist revealed its backstory. In a nutshell, Martin Madrazo’s son contacts you to procure some controversial documents that are hidden away by a prominent drug lord on a stronghold island in the Caribbean. The drug lord in question is Juan Strickler, who goes by the name El Rubio.

The Heist requires you, the protagonist, to plan and figure out points of interest, mainly entry and exit points both to the island and to the victim’s Compound. To make some extra cash, you can look for additional items to steal in the process. But of course, don’t expect it all to be a piece of cake as El Rubio has armed guards, gunboats, missile turrets, and cameras all over the place. Welcome to a Cayo Perico Guide.


Contrary to what you’re used to, the Cayo Perico heist allows players to take different approach methods, not just the orthodox ones. Other than that, you can either play the heist solo or with a party, although the latter secures a much bigger payout. Nonetheless, I would personally recommend playing with a party as it is much more fun – I speak from personal experience.

Whatever approach you take, the ultimate objective stays the same: retrieve a target that is securely held in a vault right beneath Strickler’s Compound. My favorite method of approaching the Heist is going undercover and outsmarting everyone on the field – it’s much more thrilling than a simple brute force approach, in my opinion.

Interesting Read: Cayo Perico Payout Guide, How to Get The Most Out of It.

Initial Mission

Cayo Perico Initial Mission

The initial mission requires you to first meet up with Miguel Madrazo, son of Martin Madrazo, at the new nightclub known as the Music Locker. Fun fact; the nightclub was actually under construction the entire month before the update – I, for one, didn’t know it had something to do with the Heist.

Purchasing the Kosatka

After meeting up with Miguel, you’re now supposed to purchase a Kosatka submarine from the Warstok Cache and Carry. This will serve as your headquarters, where you will carry out and plan most of the operations for the Heist. 

The base submarine costs around 2 million dollars, which may be daunting if you’re a player like me. However, no need to hesitate as the cost for the setup and the Kosatka is paid off when you first beat the Heist – I recall being overjoyed when that happened!

Meeting Pavel

I was surprised to see that Martin enlisted the help of an additional man other than the protagonist. While I was a little skeptical at first, Pavel, the Russian captain of the Kosakta, turned out to be a very interesting and cool character. You’ll get to meet him in person once you board the submarine by requesting it as a vehicle in the Interaction Menu. 

Intel missions

The gather Intel mission is designed to be a free mode mission that initiates the Cayo Perico Heist. You’re supposed to navigate and scout the island, but before you can even set foot on the place, you need to crash the Strickler’s party as an undercover DJ or a regular drug smuggler.

Now, exploring the island is a bit tricky as players aren’t allowed to carry or use any weapons and must avoid detection by guards as well as security cameras. Don’t worry – I’ll walk you through it!

CCTV and Sightseer

cayo perico CCTV and Sightseer

After escaping from the party, Pavel will act as your guide to carry out the Intel missions. He’ll instruct you to first travel to the south of the island and make your way to a security checkpoint that guards the way to Strickler’s Compound. 

Once the checkpoint is secured, Pavel will aid you in finding the communications tower and hack into a switch box. As I had already suspected, this allows you to access the CCTV cameras of the Compound using the Sightseer app.

Primary Targets

After you witness a cutscene where Strickler kills off his head of security with his pet panther, you need to switch your camera feeds to locate the primary target, which is the Madrazo Cartel’s files, and figure out the ideal route to it.

Compound Entry Points

Look for the feeds of the Basement and the Office. Search through them to find access routes through the Main Gate, the South Wall, The North Gate, the South Gate, and the North Wall. 

North Dock

cayo perico North Dock

After you decide on an entry point, Pavel will guide you to the North Dock to scope it out. Go ahead and locate the secondary target and the point of interest, which are a pair of bolt cutters. Make sure to photograph each of them and send them to Pavel – don’t be like me, who just walked out for some reason.

Airstrip and Control Tower

After this, you’re given absolute freedom to explore the island and figure out the rest of the sites to scope out and photograph. You can only locate the items in the Compound using the security feed, don’t forget that. If I could remember it, then you can too!

If you choose to get close to the Airstrip, Pavel will instruct you to locate the control tower and photograph it for him. After doing so, you’re supposed to visit the pilot for the plane at the Airstrip, where good ol’ David English will see you off before he returns to the party. After all that intense scouting, that cutscene was a breath of fresh air for me.

Cutting Powder

During the Intel missions, you can come across a box of cutting powder in three locations, mainly adjacent to the Main Dock and the Crop Fields. When you find it, Pavel will hint that the Cutting Powder can be used to weaken the guards, something that can come in handy later on. Speaking from personal experience, this helped me complete the Heist when I accidentally got caught in the finale sequence.

Let me explain how exactly it helped me out. I made my way to one of the two water towers that are found on the island, one close to the North Dock and the other at the Main Dock – I’m not sure which one I went to, but I think it was the latter. Regardless, when I climbed to the top, I had the option of opening the hatch and adding the powder to the island’s water supply. 

Can you guess what this did? Well, it reduced the guards’ reaction time and firing accuracy during the Finale, which is now considered a big advantage. I’m proud to have figured that out all by myself because Reddit started hyping it up.

You can find the cutting powder in three locations. 

  1. You can find the first one at the crop fields towards the eastern storage site.
  2. You can find the second cutting powder near the Crop fields. Just make your way to the east side to find a cocaine processing plant.
  3. Make your way to the south of the Main Dock water tower and into the entrance of the building to find the third cutting powder.

Primary Targets

The Primary Targets are pretty much required to proceed to the preparation side of things. The targets vary in value depending upon the number of playthroughs of the Heist, my personal favorite being the Panther Statue.

Primary Target Valuation
Pink Diamond 1,300,000 dollars
Madrazo Files 1,100,000 dollars
Bearer Bonds 1,100,000 dollars
Ruby Necklace 1,000,000 dollars
Sinsimito Tequila 900,000 dollars
Panther Statue 1,900,000 dollars

Secondary Targets

Secondary Targets and loot will spawn in various sites on the island. Some of them can be found in secure storage areas inside of the Compound, while others will be locked up in secure facilities across the island, such as the Airstrips. 

Grabbing these items is pretty much optional and increases the payout of the Heist, but you can’t do it alone and will need the help of a few GTA Online friends to make it happen. That’s partly why I recommend not solo-ing the Heist!

The items inside the Compound only need to be found through the CCTV cameras, but for the loot found across the island, you need to use your phone’s camera to photograph them individually.

There are five categories of secondary targets, and their total valuation ranges from anywhere between 3.8 million to 4.5 million dollars.

  1. You can find cash in both storage sites and lock-ups, and it’s one of the most prolific to spawn in the Heist.
  2. As for weed, it will only spawn in lock-ups, and it’s considered to be the second most common target to locate.
  3. Cocaine is found in lock-ups, but it’s pretty rare to come across.
  4. If you’re looking for gold, you’ll find it in the storage sites of the Compound. Gold is one of the more valuable loots to steal.
  5. As for paintings, they’ll spawn in storage sites of the Compound, and you can also find them in the main office.
Secondary Target Valuation
Gold  328,584 – 333,192 dollars per bar
Cash 78,480 – 89,420 dollars per stack
Cocaine 220,500 – 225,000 dollars per brick
Weed 145,980 – 149,265 dollars per brick
Per Painting 176,200 – 199,700 dollars

Infiltration, Escape, and Compound Entry Routes

The Cayo Perico heist features eight infiltration points, four escape points, and six entry points to the Compound that can be found. Of course, you need to figure out at least one of each of the points to proceed to the Finale of the Heist – I learned that the hard way…

Compound Entry Points

North Gate of the Compound

Make your way through the South Storage 2 Cam and peer into the North Gate’s camera, navigating to the left. Here, you’ll see a building with an atypical door with a keypad installed. Hacking into the keypad will be your first method of entering the north gate.

North Wall of the Compound

It turns out that another entry point exists at the north wall of the Compound because it is revealed that the wall has a gap in between when viewed from the right camera. 

Now, switch to the North Wall camera and orient the camera to the right. I initially thought my character wouldn’t fit through it, but the curiosity made me go with this entry point for my first run.

South Gate

cayo perico entry points
Image From GTA Fandom

During my second run, I caught whiff of another keypad beside a building oddly similar to the one I discussed before for the north gate entry point. Of course, this keypad is yet another entry point for entering the Compound.

South Wall

I never noticed it, but a friend told me that a duplicate of the north wall entrance existed at the south wall of the Compound. The wall, too, has a gap in it through which one can carry out the infiltration – I guess this means that the northern and southern entry points are merely reflections of each other.

Infiltration and Escape Points

The Airstrip

So, you can make your way to another infiltration point located in the map’s North-Western region. As you get there, photograph the location of the Airstrip, and voila, the Airstrip is added to your accessible infiltration points.

West Beach

West Beach

A relatively less known infiltration point is from the West Beach – if you’re having a hard time spotting other infiltration points, then go with this one. All you need to do is take a picture of the place; voila, it’s unlocked as an infiltration point.

Halo Jump

I don’t know about you, but the Halo Jump infiltration point is just a flashy yet extravagant one – you can’t change my mind about it. That’s because you need to acquire the Sparrow helicopter for the Kosatka, and it comes at a pricey 1,815,000 dollars, with which you can skydive into the Compound. I understand that it’s cool and all, but completing the Heist won’t reimburse that cost.

North Dock

Perhaps the easiest infiltration point to secure is the North Dock, an area you’ve already visited by now. As such, the North Dock is good for speedrunning as it can act both as an entry and an exit point for the Heist. Simply traverse the jungle and take a good picture of the north dock with the boat.

North Drop

Aside from Halo Jump, I would also advise against the North Drop infiltration jump due to how buggy it is. But if you’re insistent on going with it, then go to the north end of the map to the North Drop zone and photograph the small little hut. Don’t be alarmed if the picture doesn’t register, as certain angles are glitchy.

Main Dock

The Main Dock is my go-to infiltration point and involves going to the center of the map and getting on top of the red container. Here, you’ll get a good view and will be able to photograph the dock with the crane in view, a requirement for triggering the infiltration point.

South Drop

The South Drop zone is not that hard to find, considering a lasso string icon represents it. Not only that, but it’s probably the most lenient to photograph, as even taking a picture of the drop will trigger the infiltration point. That’s quite funny if you like me since Pavel can decipher exactly where you are judging from a pile of dirt.

The Drainage Tunnel

cayo perico Drainage Tunnel

The Drainage Tunnel is probably the most interesting infiltration point of the lot, partially because not many people are even aware of it. If you want to check it out, go towards the claw-shaped map’s side southwards, right next to the ocean, and dive in. 

Here, you’ll find a drainage tunnel that will automatically trigger Pavel to register it as an infiltration point – so yes, no photographing is needed! 

I was personally surprised when I learned about this infiltration point from Reddit because it literally went over my radar, despite the fact that I had already done five runs of the Heist…

Preparations Missions

The Preparation phase of the Heist requires you to complete a few missions around Los Santos and San Andreas. After completing the necessary Intel missions, you can view all of these from the prep screen on the Kosatka.

Approach Vehicle

In order to proceed to the Finale Screen, at least one of the “Approach Vehicle” missions must be completed. The rest of the missions become optional, so it’s pretty much up to you by that point.


To use the Kosatka as the approaching vehicle, you need to acquire a sonar deflector from a Merryweather submarine and retrieve it back to the Kostka. This enables the players to use the Kosatka with the help of some scuba diving gear to swim to the island using the infiltration point. 


Alkonost cayo perico

In order to unlock this option, an RO-86 Alkonost needs to be stolen from Fort Zancuodo and brought over to Miguel Madrazo’s hangar located at Los Santos International Airport. Once secured, you can undertake a mission for the pilot, which allows you to parachute to the Caribbean Island directly. You can already tell this is my favorite approach vehicle!


I immediately knew what I was getting into the moment I saw this option. In case you don’t know, Velums are usually considered to be cars belonging to drug smugglers in GTA V – you can get one for yourself by stealing it at an airship. Then, similar to the Alkonost, you must fly it back to Miguel Madrazo’s hangar over at LS international airport before infiltrating as a drug smuggler.

Stealth Helicopter

You need to steal an Annihilator Stealth chopper and bring it back to Miguel’s hangar before completing the same task for the pilot that you’re supposed to do for the Alkonost. You can rappel from the helicopter to the island, all while going undetected, which is why I recommend this approach to stealthy players.

Patrol Boat

cayo perico Patrol Boat

By procuring a Kurtz 31 Patrol Boat from a location and dropping it off at a drop point, you can unlock this option and make your way to the island in a decked-out surface vessel!


Another way to infiltrate as a drug smuggler is by getting your hands on a Longfin. With that said, your best bet is to steal one off of a trailer in the Vespucci Police Station in Los Santos, for which of course, you’ll need a truck cab to attach it. I wouldn’t recommend it as it puts you in the close dangerous vicinity of the cops.


Safe Code

You need to collect the safe’s code from the head of El Rubio’s security, whom you can find at a party at El Rubio’s Diamond Casino penthouse.

Plasma Cutter

Plasma Cutter
Image From GTA Fandom

This is for primary targets that are concealed in glass cases. You need to get your hands on a plasma cutter, which is necessary to make your way through the glass cases. You need to steal this from a heist crew that’s planning to rob a bank.

Fingerprint cloner

You also need to acquire a fingerprint cloner in order to gain entry into the Compound’s basement. This cloner can be located and stolen from the archives, which is found with El Rubio’s head of cybersecurity.

Cutting Torch

Cutting Torch
Image From GTA Fandom

This only becomes available if you discover the drainage pipe infiltration point. You’ll need the cutting torch to cut through the locks and the grates of the drainage pipes. You can acquire the cutting torch from a construction site, which is also guarded.

Demolition Charges

To get your hands on demolition charges, you need to steal them from the O’Neill brothers, who keep them in the basement of the O’Neil ranch. These charges will be used to break through the gates of the Compound. Talk about an explosive entry!

Weapon Load-out

You can choose from five provided weapon load-outs for the Finale, which will follow the same prep mission process.

You need to acquire unmarked weapons. This selected load-out must be stolen from an armed gang’s office, or you can make your merry way to a Merryweather Avenger after stalking a Valkyrie to the weapon’s site.

The Finale

Now, you’re ready for the Finale, and I’m going to fill you in on how I’d play the Heist. While you can optionally choose any route with any infiltration vehicle and weapon load-out of your choice, I’m going to strongly suggest you use the stealth route since it’s easily the best way to go. 

I’ll use the Kosatka as my approach vehicle, and the infiltration point will be the drainage tunnel, which, although tricky, will lead me directly into the Compound. Apart from that, I’ll escape the island through the main dock route, and all of this will happen during the daytime. As for my weapon load-out, I’ll go with the aggressor or marksman with suppressors equipped. 

As for the disruption prep missions, I won’t be needing them as they’re entirely optional and won’t be needed for the stealth approach – that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Instructions for the Compound

cayo perico compound

Once I’ve entered El Rubio’s Compound, I’ll head up the stairs and take out the guard located at the top. Then I’ll take a left and make my way through the garden – there’s going to be another guard here as well, so I’ll swiftly take him out too. Once I reach the area where the guard was patrolling, I’ll wait for the other guard to appear at the top of the stairs. Once he’s out of the security camera’s view, I’ll put an end to his misery before destroying the camera. 

I’ll climb the small staircase located opposite to the destroyed security camera and make another left up the staircase. There will be a guard on the right through the archway and you guessed it – he has to go too.

El Rubio’s Office

I’ll meet two more guards patrolling the bottom of the staircase, and they’ll be the only two standing between El Rubio’s office and me. I’ll eliminate them quietly before entering El Rubio’s office. 

Once inside, I’ll immediately open the safe on the right, as it will contain anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 dollars. If I’m feeling a little more greedy, I’ll also check for any paintings to steal from the room too. Then, back on track, I’ll use the Fingerprint Cloner to make my way to the basement.

Fingerprint Cloner

The Fingerprint Cloner is pretty easy to complete. Start from the top and count the tiles – players get 5 minutes to complete this minigame, but one can easily get done with it in no less than 90 seconds. 

Escape Time

cayo perico

Now it’s time to make my grand escape. After heading down the stairs towards the main gate, I’ll swiftly annihilate the guards in the vicinity before exiting the Compound. Once out, there’ll be a pathway with some trees and a guard at the end who will conveniently stand next to a bike. 

He’ll have to die too, as I’ll steal the bike and make my way to the southern edge of the island, where I can wait for a boat to conveniently pass by – I’ll simply hijack it to escape, and that will pretty much finish the mission.

The Elite Challenge

If you’re going for the Elite Challenge, which requires you to loot all the secondary targets, you can make your way to the Main Docks to access all the secondary targets you’ve scoped for earlier. 

Slowly but carefully, pick off all the guards and dismantle the security cameras. Apart from that, I’d advise using the cutting torch to enter the loot sites, sheds and warehouses. And, of course, the best part is that since you selected the Main Docks as your escape route, a boat will already be there waiting for you once you’re done.

And that ends the Cayo Perico heist. If you managed to efficiently execute the instructions and didn’t fail any of the hacking minigames, you’ll get a bonus on top of your final pay. That’s it for the Elite Challenge and the Heist.


Question: What’s the best approach for the Cayo Perico Heist?

Answer: The stealth approach allows you to rake in tons of money in the shortest time of just under 15 minutes!

Question: What do I do about griefers during Prep Missions?

Answer: While you can do the prep missions in a public lobby, which isn’t recommended, you can also do the prep missions in invite-only sessions.

Question: What’s the best infiltration point?

Answer: The drainage tunnel is by far the best and most convenient infiltration point as it leads you directly into the Compound. But you’ll need to get a cutting torch first!


Alright! That’s it for the Cayo Perico Heist. Now, you’ve raked in tons of cash, but you can do it all over again. Pavel will contact you to do the Heist again, and if you respond within 45 minutes, you’ll unlock Hard Mode, which allows you to earn loads of money. Of course, the best part about my stealth guide is that it’ll all turn out the same, hard mode or not!

I’ve got many interesting guides lined up for you on Grand Theft Fans, so stay tuned for more. With that said, see you next time and goodbye!

Continue reading related GTA Heist Guides:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top