Grand Theft Auto V

A Solo Players’ Detailed Guide to the Cayo Perico Approach Options

GrandTheftAutoV10 - A Solo Players' Detailed Guide to the Cayo Perico Approach Options

I've run Cayo Perico quite a few times now, and I've seen what people recommend in terms of your approach options. However, if you're still unsure as to how to go about the heist itself (or are just looking for a bit more variety than just going for the drainage gate every time), then I'll take this opportunity to break down each approach option, weigh its' pros and cons, and give advice on when you should or should not use each one.

Approach #1: Velum

Approach the island using the Velum 5-seater, disguised as a smuggler

Starting area(s): Airstrip
Number of prep missions: 1 (Aircraft)
Requirements to use: N/A


  1. Quick access to power plant and air control tower, allowing for quick disabling of the air defenses and cameras
  2. The Velum does not despawn, allowing it to pull double-duty as an escape vehicle
  3. The airstrip is a potential location for the Supply Truck, Guard Uniforms, Grappling Hook and 6 secondary loot locations (4 of which can be easily accessed)
  4. Less guards at the start point than other options
  5. Start semi-disguised; some guards will not raise alarm if spotting the player


  1. The airstrip is the furthest possible starting location from the compound, making it not a viable entrance strategy for Elite Challenge attempts.
  2. There is an additional fee if you want to use this entrance in stealth.

Optimal time to use: The Airstrip has Guard Uniforms and Supply Truck

Personal Notes/Opinions:
A lot of people will just ignore the Velum approach due to how you start on the literal opposite side of the island from the compound, and as such will spend a lot of time just getting there. However, I think that the Velum approach is definitely one worth considering, and it is definitely not the worst approach option for the heist.

It might even a good option for a guns blazing approach, as you can quickly disable the air defenses and thus gain full access to the support abilities you may or may not have paid for a lot faster.

The best part of it though is the fact that the Velum sticks around after using it, and in terms of vehicles you can use to leave Cayo Perico the Velum offers the most pilot/passenger protection by a significant margin.

Just, don't expect to get the Elite Challenge with it. That commute times' a killer.

Approach #2: Alkonost

Paradrop onto Cayo Perico from a stealth aircraft

Starting area(s): Almost anywhere
Number of prep missions: 2 (Aircraft, Pilot)
Requirements to use: N/A


  1. Can start almost anywhere on the island
  2. 'Easy' access to any important items not near any of the standard approach areas
  3. Possibly viable (but not ideal) entrance for Elite Challenge runs


  1. Careless use can break stealth before player/s are ready
  2. A bad drop can put player/s in a bad situation from the get-go
  3. It is possible to be killed before landing
  4. Cannot re-use as an escape option
  5. Can invoke Battle Royale PTSD in player/s

Optimal time to use: Co-ordinated groups of players, Guard Uniforms are in remote but unguarded areas

Personal Notes/Opinions:
Meh, this one isn't that good to be honest. You don't have to do anything special in order to attempt it, but overall it's pretty bad. It doesn't offer anything particularly interesting in terms of benefits, and the potential for 'user error' is rather high. Use it once for the "complete Cayo Perico at least once with every possible approach method" award and then never touch it again.

Approach #3: Longfin

Arrive via boat disguised as a smuggler

Starting area(s): North Dock, South Dock
Number of prep missions: 1 (Boat)
Requirements to use: Take a photo of the dock to use it as an approach area; the tutorial directs you to one of the docks


  1. South dock is very close to the compound
  2. The docks often have Guard Uniforms, each can have the Supply Truck
  3. Docks offer multiple secondary loot opportunities
  4. Start semi-disguised; some guards will not raise alarm if spotting the player


  1. Semi-disguise not effective on all guards at dock; some evasion will be needed
  2. Cannot re-use as an escape option
  3. Guard Uniforms can be in difficult to reach areas without detection

Optimal time to use: Supply Truck, Guard Uniforms are at the same dock

Personal Notes/Opinions:
Worse than the Alkonost approach, and my personal pick for the worst approach option. The fact that not every guard at the dock will be convinced by your disguise means that you basically have to not head into the dock itself, but land prior to it and sneak around the guards, making the whole 'disguise as a smuggler' point moot. The boat despawns when you enter the compound too, so you can't even use it as a quick getaway vehicle. Just like with the Alkonost, do it once for the award and never touch it again afterwards.

Approach #4: Annihilator Stealth

Rappel from a stealth helicopter onto the island at a remote location


Starting area(s): North Drop Zone, South Drop Zone
Number of prep missions: 2 (Helicopter, Pilot)
Requirements to use: Take a photo of the Drop Zone to use that zone as an approach; the tutorial will NOT direct you to these Drop Zones


  1. Start in an isolated area of the island with no guards
  2. North Drop Zone can have Bolt Cutters, South Drop Zone is near Lighthouse which can have Grappling Hook


  1. Both drop zones are significantly far from Guard Uniform, Supply Truck and secondary loot locations
  2. Cannot re-use as an escape option

Optimal time to use: Stealth is preferred, you want to be able to use the Grappling Hook compound entrance/exit, Guard Uniforms are in inopportune locations

Personal Notes/Opinions:
Not the best approach option, but it has its' uses. It's a good fallback in case the RNG gods have forsaken you and the Guard Uniform locations are really bad, but you also don't want to do the Drainage Pipe approach because you want to be able to get a grappling hook first, but otherwise you're better off picking one of the other approaches.

Approach #5: Kosatka

Cut through the drainage pipe and enter the compound from below

Starting area(s): Drainage Pipe, Northern Beach
Number of prep missions: 1 (Sonar Disruptor)
Requirements to use: Find the Drainage Pipe in the sea south of the compound. The tutorial will NOT direct you to this.


  1. Can start immediately in the Compound
  2. Start in scuba suits
  3. Quickest approach by far; great for Elite Challenge runs (Drainage Pipe starting area)
  4. Allows for use of the Kosatka as an escape option


  1. No disguises when in the compound (Drainage Pipe starting area)
  2. Can only leave the compound via. the front gate (Drainage Pipe starting area)
  3. Kosatka escape option is pointless

Optimal time to use: Speed runs/Elite Challenge attempts, all disruption missions completed 100%

Personal Notes/Opinions:
Ah, yes. The option everyone and their dog seems to go for. This may seem like a no-brainer given that it puts you immediately in the compound, but that's also its' biggest flaw. Without the benefit of disguises, you'll need to avoid or eliminate every guard, and as you won't have any of the codes to escape via. the side entrances, or the grappling hook needed to scale the wall, your way out of the compound is going to be restricted to just using the front gate. The Kosatka escape option is also pointless, as you'll most likely get to it by boat, in which case you might as well just keep using the boat to escape.

Alternatively, if for some reason you were unable to complete all of the disruption missions 100%, I'd avoid using this approach as if you get caught in the compound, you'll be in for a rough time.

Still, if you're going for the Elite Challenge, this is probably your best shot at it due to its' 15 minute time limit.

And yes, you can technically use it to start at the Northern Beach, but let's be honest, no-one's picking this approach to do THAT. The only reason you'd want to start on the Northern Beach would be if the Guard Uniforms were there, and if that were the case you might as well go with the Velum or Alkonost approaches.

Approach #6: Patrol Boat

Approach the island with a patrol boat

Starting area(s): North Dock, South Dock
Number of prep missions: 1 (Boat)
Requirements to use: Take a photo of the dock to use it as an approach area; the tutorial directs you to one of the docks


  1. Start in an armed patrol boat; good for guns blazing approaches
  2. Despite starting in an armed patrol boat, mission can still be stealthed


  1. Cannot be re-used as an escape option
  2. Do not start with a 'semi-disguise'; any guards will raise alarm if spotting player.

Optimal time to use: Guns blazing team attempts

Personal Notes/Opinions:
I'll be honest. This is the only approach I haven't solo'd, as I thought that it was a no-stealth one, and since the patrol boat doesn't have a driver weapon I hosted a public session and got a couple of pubbies to help out. Turns out, you CAN stealth it if you play it right.

I don't know if it was a random event or one tied to the approach method, but when I did it there was a storm on the island that reduced the guards' cones of vision. I suspect that this storm is tied directly into the approach method, as this was the first and only time I'd seen this storm during the heist, and since I'd already completed the heist 7 times prior (once with each other approach method, plus an additional run with the Velum and Kosatka), it'd be highly unlikely that this storm being on my only boat approach was a co-incidence.

I still prefer this to the Longfin, as while you do still have to sneak around the guards at the docks if you want to stealth the heist, at least with the patrol boat it isn't pretending to be a stealthy insertion that really isn't.

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