How to Do Cayo Perico Heist: Solo Walkthrough in GTA Online

Despite the recent nerf from the Criminal Enterprises update, the Cayo Perico Heist is still the definitive money-making method in GTA Online. It allows players to walk away with over a million dollars every time. And the best part? The heist can be completed entirely solo!

If you’re wondering how to do the Cayo Perico Heist, optimizing your time and maximizing your profit, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be covering all this and more in this article for the Cayo Perico Heist: full walkthrough for solo players in GTA Online!

Cayo Perico Heist: Full Walkthrough For Solo Players

Let’s get right into the article!

How to Start the Cayo Perico Heist

How to Start the Cayo Perico Heist
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

If you are a new player who has yet to do the Cayo Perico heist, chances are you don’t know where to even start your journey. We’ll start by covering how to gain access to the heist. Feel free to skip this part if you’ve already completed it before.

The first thing you need to do is head over to the in-game website Warstock Cache & Carry. This is a website that sells military surplus and various militarized vehicles. You’ll need to purchase the Kosatka submarine in order to launch the heist. This submarine will cost you exactly $2,200,000. Once you buy the submarine, just head on over to the icon, which will appear on the map in the ocean.

You’ll watch an introductory cutscene with Pavel, your first mate. Once this concludes, you will receive an introductory mission heading to the LSIA airport to travel to Cayo Perico, a tropical Caribbean paradise off the coast of Columbia. Just head to the yellow marker and start the mission.

Scouting Mission: The Gate

Scouting Mission: The Gate
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Now it’s onto the first and most important part of your mission to rob the legendary drug lord El Rubio. If you’re doing the previously mentioned mission, you’ll be able to slip away when security isn’t looking. After you’ve done the heist at least once, you’ll unlock the option to launch a scouting mission at any time from your submarine’s control terminal, located on the bridge.

In order to get this done as fast as possible, you’ll want to get your hands on a motorcycle. You can find one at the airport on the northern side of the island. This is where you land during the cutscene for both the introductory mission mentioned earlier, as well as the scouting mission. Grab a bike and head to the location shown in the image above.

Once you get there, you’ll want to wait about thirty seconds for an opening. Once there are no more cars coming and both the guard in the tower and the guard patrolling the road are looking away, you can drive through the door located to the right of the gate. Then drive across the road and in-between all the bushes. You’ll want to stay off-road as much as possible to avoid being detected.

Scouting Mission: The Primary Target

Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

After you’re well past the gate, head to the yellow marker. There should be a big electrical box that will spawn either on the ground floor or somewhere on the tower. Find it and complete the hacking mini-game. This mini-game requires you to match wires to produce the exact number shown to you.

Once you finish the mini-game, scroll through all the cameras until you find the primary loot. This will be shown to you in one of the “basement camera[s].” You’ll know you’ve found it when Pavel says something. Then just parachute off of the tower and get detected by a nearby guard. If you get caught, they will teleport you back to the airport and you’ll be able to head back home right then and there!

Prep Mission Tips & Tricks

Before you continue reading, let’s go over some basic tips and tricks in order to maximize your time efficiency. These tips are very important to keep in mind when doing all of the prep missions, as they will allow you to complete them as smoothly and as quickly as possible.


Use the fast travel option from the Kosatka. If you walk up to the terminal on the side of the bridge opposite to the periscope, you can sit down and select the option to fast travel to any part of the sea surrounding the map. This will cost you $10,000 before doing your first heist, but after hosting it at least once, it will be reduced down to $2,000. This is a really great way to get to your destinations faster!


Cayo Perico Heist Purchase the Sparrow helicopter
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

Purchase the Sparrow helicopter. If you have not done this already, go back to the Warstock Cache & Carry website and select the Kosatka submarine again. From here, navigate to moon pool vehicles. This is where you can buy either a smaller submarine or a Sparrow helicopter. The Sparrow is a fast and nimble air vehicle with missiles and defensive abilities.

You can store it right inside your Kosatka submarine, allowing you to get in and immediately start flying to your objective after launching a prep mission! You can also return back to your submarine using the same vehicle once you have what you need. It’s a very handy vehicle that makes completing prep missions much easier.


Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Call in a Dinghy boat from the interaction menu. This is only required if you aren’t able to purchase the Sparrow. Simply go into your interaction menu, hit Services, then Kosatka. From there, you can call in a Dinghy boat to be delivered nearby! This is required for getting across the water to and from your Kosatka while doing missions.


Call your Kosatka from the interaction menu. If you are doing a prep mission and you just collected the item that you need, you can call your Kosatka to re-surface nearby in case you are far away from it. Simply go to the interaction menu, then select Services, then Kosatka. You can then call it to re-spawn as close to you as it possibly can, making getting back to base much easier!

First Prep

Approach Vehicle (Longfin Boat)

Cayo Perico Heist -Approach Vehicle (Longfin Boat)
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Okay, first and foremost, we’re going to need a fast vehicle to approach the island without being detected. The fastest and easiest vehicle to acquire is the Longfin boat. Select this option, begin the prep mission, and go to to the place marked on your map.

Once you arrive to the boat, Pavel will inform you that you need a big rig in order to haul it away. He will source the locations of several nearby trucks for you. Head over there and bring them back to the boat. If you own the Phantom Wedge, however, call that one in instead. It’s faster than stealing a truck and the big wedge hooked up to the front of it makes plowing through police cars a breeze!

Escaping the Police

Escaping The Police
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

After you get into your big rig, back it up into the boat and get the heck out of there! Cops will be on your tail, and you’ll need to lose them as soon as possible. Head to the location shown in the image above, which shouldn’t be very far from where you are. Underneath a bridge going over the highway is an entrance to a tunnel leading beneath the city. Go to it and park your truck inside this tunnel.

Let me be very clear on this: only park the big rig inside. Leave the Longfin attached to the rig, but don’t drive it inside the tunnel. You’re only temporarily parking here, and the Longfin might get jammed in the tunnel when it’s time for you to leave.

Parking the truck prevents cop cars from driving into the tunnel, and it confuses the police AI somewhat. When you’re inside the tunnel, police can’t see you, and you’ll be able to get rid of them much more easily than hiding somewhere above ground. Just make sure to run pretty far back into the tunnel in case any officers on foot make their way past the big rig.

Once the police dissipate, go back to your truck and slowly back out of the tunnel. You’ll get a marker on your map ordering you to head to a drop-off location. Go there, and the mission will be completed!

Second Prep

Plasma Cutter OR Safe Code

Plasma Cutter OR Safe Code
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Our next prep mission depends on the primary target that you scoped out. For every primary target except two, you are going to need a plasma cutter to break through glass guarding the loot. If you’re doing the heist for the first time, you’ll get the Madrazo Files as your target. If you’ve done it before, there’s a chance you’ll get Barer Bonds.

Both these targets will force you to do the safe codes prep-mission. Both of these prep missions are pretty straightforward, but I will still give you a basic overview of what you’ll be doing each mission, as well as some tips.

Mission Walkthrough

Mission Walkthrough
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

For the plasma cutter mission, you’ll be instructed to travel to a location on the map where a heist crew is planning a robbery. Once you get there, you’ll see that they’ve already left. Pavel will tell you to take a picture of their planning board so he can find them.

Make sure you wait until Pavel finishes talking before you take the photo, otherwise it won’t give you the option to send it to him. And be sure to get the whole board in one shot. Once that’s done, he’ll tell you to travel to a location in Los Santos. Head there and you’ll find the robbers in the middle of their heist. The plasma cutter can’t be damaged, so you can spam the missiles on your Sparrow to kill them.

Then just collect the plasma cutter and head back to the submarine. If you are doing the safe codes mission instead, Pavel will tell you to head to the Diamond Casino to assassinate El Rubio’s head of security. Once you get there, you can head up the elevator if you own the penthouse there. If you don’t, you’ll be instructed to steal a keycard that you can find in the casino’s parking garage.

Then just head over to the head of security’s penthouse. You’ll find it when you see the door with two guards out front. Kill them and everyone inside that is hostile to you, including the head of security. Once he’s dead, you can search him for the key codes. Grabbing them will teleport you outside and automatically complete the mission!

Third Prep

Fingerprint Cloner

Cayo Perico Heist - Fingerprint Cloner
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Next up, we need a fingerprint cloner in order to get a copy of El Rubio’s fingerprints. This is required, as there are certain doors at his compound guarded by an electronic lock that must be hacked. The fingerprint cloner can be found inside of an archive hidden somewhere in the city.

The first objective will send you to a warehouse in Los Santos, containing several guards watching over a laptop that contains the location of the archive mentioned earlier. Ignore the cameras outside and rush in, killing all the guards. Once they are dead, approach the laptop and complete the hacking minigame requiring you to stop the letters at the correct time. It’s easy and straightforward to do.

After that is done, the archive’s location will be revealed. Get outside and go to the marker on your map. Once there, you can destroy the cameras located outside if you don’t want enemies chasing after you when you leave, but this isn’t required if you’re using a flying vehicle. Get inside and head to the very back left corner of the room. The fingerprint cloner will be highlighted once you get close to it.

After that’s been nabbed, just head back to the Kosatka. If you were spotted earlier by the cameras, you’ll have some of El Rubio’s men chasing after you. But they aren’t that difficult to kill, so don’t sweat it. Once you arrive at the Kosatka, the mission will be complete!

Fourth Prep

Cutting Torch

Cutting Torch
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Now for our fourth prep mission, the cutting touch! When we finally rob El Rubio, we’ll be breaking into his compound by cutting through the drainage tunnel underwater. And in order to do that, we’ll need a cutting torch. For most other approaches, you can skip this mission and do the demolition charges one instead. But the drainage tunnel is the fastest way to do the heist, so this is the one you’ll want to pick.

After starting this mission, Pavel will send you to one of several construction sites located around the city. Travel to the one he sends you to, and when you get there, you will find a large number of armed guards. You can either go in guns blazing, sneak around them, or pick up a construction hat nearby to disguise yourself. I recommend doing the third option.

A white dot will appear on your mini-map to indicate the location of a hard hat. Walk over to it and put it on. Now you’ll be able to walk past the guards for a few seconds without them noticing! Stay too long in their cone of vision, however, and you’ll be caught. To find the cutting torch, walk over to all the tool boxes around the area. In one of them will be a blue cutting torch as shown in the image above.

Once you pick it up, just get out of the area and head back to the Kosatka. Easy as pie!

Fifth Prep

Unmarked Weapons

Cayo Perico Heist: Full Walkthrough - Unmarked Weapons
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Last but not least, our fifth and final prep mission — weapons. This is one of the most important tools for pulling off a high-stakes robbery (for obvious reasons). You can choose from several different loadouts before launching the mission. They are all viable, but I recommend going for one that features an automatic weapon as its primary gun instead of a sniper rifle or a shotgun.

Personally, I like to go with the Saboteur loadout as I love using the SMG, but again, it doesn’t matter that much. Just don’t forget to buy the suppressors! You can do this by selecting the option from the bottom of the list of loadout options. You can buy them before starting the prep mission. Do this as soon as possible so you don’t forget. The last thing you want is to be detected during the finale!

When you decide on a loadout to get, start the mission. Pavel will almost always send you to an office building. However, sometimes you’ll have to go to Merryweather HQ, where you will need to sneakily follow a helicopter to another location. If you get the helicopter mission, you should purposely get detected to fail the mission. This one takes too long to do and is painfully boring, so just don’t do it.

The Office Mission

The Office Mission
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

As previously mentioned, the overwhelming majority of the time, you’ll get the office mission instead of the helicopter one. When this happens, go to the yellow marker on your map and enter the office either from the ground floor or the roof. If you have an air vehicle, I recommend going through the roof, as you’ll encounter less resistance. Go inside, kill all the guards, and head to the back left of the office.

There will be a hidden safe to the left of the wall behind the computer. Press the button to try and open it, and it will trigger the next objective. Pavel will tell you to hack the nearby computer to access the safe. Interact with the computer at the nearby desk and you’ll enter a hacking mini-game where you need to find the set of numbers given to you on the screen and select them.

To do this quickly, just memorize the first two pairs of numbers — don’t bother memorizing the entire line. For example, if the numbers are, just look for 87.48. Every few seconds, the numbers will rotate one space to the left, and if they are on the edge they will rotate upwards to the next line of numbers. Just keep this information in mind and completing the mini-game shouldn’t be that difficult.

Once you are finished, the safe will unlock and you can try opening it again. Once it’s open, you’ll grab the weapons and you can head outside. Then just travel back to the Kosatka and you’ll be all set!

The Finale

Entering the Compound

Entering The Compound - How to do the Cay Perico Heist
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

All right, we’ve done all the prep missions and are all ready to go! I recommend buying some body armor from Ammu-Nation and grabbing some snacks from the submarine’s kitchen before starting. You probably won’t need them, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe. Once you’re ready to go, select all of the options shown in the image above and you can start the mission!

When you first spawn in, you’ll be in open water off the coast of Cayo Perico. Turn your boat to the right and start making your way to the compound. Once you arrive, jump out of your boat and swim down towards the drainage tunnel. As long as you’re fast, you won’t need to worry about running out of air, as your air meter doesn’t go down while you’re doing the mini-game.

The mini-game requires you to use your cutting torch to open up the metal bars. Simply hover the torch over one of the bars and let it sit there for a second. Once a metal bar has been cut, move your torch to the next one and continue until you’ve cut the rest. The gate will open and now you just need to swim to the other end of the tunnel. The whole ordeal should take around twenty seconds.

Navigating The Compound
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Upon leaving the drainage tunnel, a cutscene will play showing you exiting through a door inside the compound. From here, you’ll want to turn northeast and silently take out the guard overlooking the ocean. Then just hug the right side of the compound and move past the guard standing upstairs, and don’t bother killing him. There is a guard approaching you from the ground floor. Him you’ll need to kill.

After the one on the ground is dealt with, continue through the mansion, still hugging the right side. Keep moving upwards until you encounter a pair of guards standing at each other. Take your aim and shoot both of them in the head as quickly as you can. Don’t shoot them in the chest! If you don’t take out any of the guards with a headshot, there’s an increased risk you’ll be detected.

Once the pair of guards have been killed, walk right past the camera (staying out of its cone of vision) and towards the yellow marker. If you run into a guard with a skull icon on the map, don’t bother taking them out, as they’re too heavily armored. Just lay low until they walk past you. When you get to the base of the building with the yellow marker, take out the guard standing in front of the stairs.

Entering the Office and the Basement

Entering The Office & The Basement
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Then once you head up the stairs, keep your eyes peeled for a second guard who will be walking down them. When he’s at the top of the stairs, take him out with a headshot. Now you can safely head into El Rubio’s office on the top floor. If there is a painting inside the room, you can take it for your secondary loot. If not, then just go to the top right corner of the room and open up the hidden safe in the wall.

After you get the safe and any secondary loot in his office, you can either hack the elevator there and take it down or you can go back the way you came in and enter his basement from the outside if you know where the entrance is. Taking the elevator minimizes your chances of getting seen by guards, but it requires three hacks to break through. The other entrance only requires one hack to get inside.

I recommend entering the basement from the outside. Get out of the office back the way you came and head to the fountain you passed earlier on your way to the yellow marker. To the left of this fountain is the entrance to the basement. Walk down the steps and past an unlocked metal door. Then hug the left side of the wall until you find another door. Time to put that fingerprint cloner to work!

I recommend this video by YouTuber Rellikain. He uploaded a short and simple guide on how to easily complete the hacking minigame, and he explains it better in his video than I could in writing. Once you’re finished hacking and have unlocked the door, walk straight a bit and then turn right, where you’ll find another locked door. Use your cutting torch to break through the padlock.

Grabbing the Loot

Cayo Perico Heist - Grabbing The Loot
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

After that, you’ll walk up to either the safe or the glass box, depending on the primary loot you scoped out. For the safe mini-game, you’ll receive a text from Pavel giving you the safe code. Memorize it, then interact with the safe. The controls for entering the code into the safe depends on the platform you are playing on. Look towards the top left of the screen for the controls on unlocking the safe.

If you’re breaking through the glass, approach it and interact with it to pull out your plasma cutter. During this mini-game, you’ll have to press and hold a button to power the plasma cutter. Watch the bar in the bottom right of the screen so it doesn’t overheat! Once it gets in the red, release the button and let it go back down before pressing and holding it again. Keep doing this until you break through.

After that’s done, leave the compound! Walk back out of the basement from where you came in. To the left of your mini-map should be a black and yellow icon of a gate. Head towards that icon, avoiding any guards still in your way. Once you’re on the yellow marker, a cutscene will play showing your character leaving through the front gate.

Outside the Compound

Outside The Compound
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

A few yards in front of you should be a guard standing next to a motorcycle. Kill the guard and steal the bike. From here, you have a few options. If you want to play it safe and leave the island with what you already have now, you can drive west and ride the motorcycle off the cliff and into the ocean. Then just swim away from the island and you’ll complete the mission!

If you want some extra goodies, you can head to the main dock for a chance at getting some secondary loot. The main dock is located around the center of the island and to the left. If you selected the main dock as your escape route, there will be a yellow map marker pointing you there. Head to the gate of the compound and take out all the guards without getting caught, then drive towards the docks.

The Main Docks

The Main Docks -Cayo Perico Heist: Full Walkthrough
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

When you arrive at this location, inside several of the buildings will be padlocked doors containing extra loot. This loot here is always either cash, weed, or cocaine. If you see cocaine, you’ll want to prioritize getting that, as it pays the most. Your bag can only hold so much space, after all. When you find some secondary loot, an icon will display on the map. If it’s cocaine, it will have a razor for its icon.

Silently take out the guards and explore as much of the docks as you can. Once you find some secondary loot, use your cutting torch to break through the door guarding it and interact with the pile of treasure to start picking it up. Once your bag is full, you can find several Dinghy boats parked at the docks. Steal one and ride it out to sea! Once you are away from the island, the heist will conclude.

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Andrew Scott

You can also use the Kosatka , and park it at the south near the drainage area. You can also find loot at the airstrip


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