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"With all the constant beach-side raving and free-flowing drugs from the nearby crops, the island would look like a trendy resort-turned-festival, were it not for the paid henchmen standing around holding assault rifles."
— Rockstar Newswire


Cayo Perico (commonly referred to as just The Island or Paradise) is a private island in the Caribbean, off the coast of Colombia, that appears in Grand Theft Auto Online as part of The Cayo Perico Heist update.

Description

Cayo Perico is considered one of the most secure private islands in the entire world, and the location of the remote island compound of the world’s most notorious drug dealer, Juan Strickler (also known as El Rubio).[1] It also contains an untold fortune in art, gold and drug money, scattered across the island.

Cayo Perico is not only the nerve center of El Rubio’s drug empire, but also plays host to his other great love: marathon beach dance parties, where everyone from jetsetters and heiresses to legendary music producers gather to rave until the sun comes up.[2]

The island first appeared in the "El Rubio Dossier" teaser released during the Los Santos Summer Special update, which contained views of three locations on the island, including a sprawling clifftop Spanish-style estate, a security tower and a farm.

History

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Various artifacts around the island give hints to its history, including a cemetery near the airstrip, several collapsed obelisks, one of which forms the center point of a circular graveyard of 13 plots and remnants of the Spanish Empire, including Conquistador armour.

A Primitive Shelter is situated in the southeastern area.

Geography

Although the name of the island is "Cayo Perico"—which translates to Parakeet Cay in Spanish—Cayo Perico is not a cay in the topographic sense, and is actually a high island telling by its rocky topography and elevation. With the exception of a few beaches, Cayo Perico contains little sand, with most beaches on the island being covered by small rocks.

Cayo Perico’s weather is always set to clear during heist intel or regular visits, therefore having no chance of rain or snow, although there is a very small chance that the weather can be set to a thunderstorm during the Cayo Perico Heist finale.

Most of the island’s flora are reused assets from Guarma in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Wildlife

While there are no native fauna seen on land, the wildlife is heard in abundance, including frogs, birds and snakes. A black panther is kept in captivity in El Rubio's compound. A mutilated shark and a stranded whale can be seen, and there are whale skeletons in the water. A Loch Ness Monster inhabits the surrounding seas. Schools of tropical fish can also be seen in the water.

Points of Interest

The island is littered with many historical artifacts and interesting objects, some of which are relevant to the heist and will be able to be sent to Pavel during intel gathering for The Cayo Perico Heist. Others are just noteworthy for existing.

The surrounding waters are home to many Wrecks as well as a large meteorite in the far northwest.

Skeletons and corpses

There are many skeletons and corpses, some in plain view, some hidden.

Name Description
including Pavel's commentary.
Location Image Map
Smuggler. A skeleton holding Cocaine with more bricks scattered around. Small western beach (between West Beach and the Fishing Jetty).
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-CokeBricksNorthWestBeach.png
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-Smuggler-Map.png
Party goer.
"Well, well. A guest at the last party, perhaps. Just think, if we do not pull this off perfectly, we too will be found like this..."
— Pavel

Pavel suggests this was a previous beach party guest who didn't follow the rules. This is confirmed in overheard guard dialogue during the heist itself.[3]

Rock promontory just north of West Beach, only visible from clifftop above.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-PartyGoer.png
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-PartyGuest-Map.png
Conquistadors A selection of artifacts including Conquistador skeletons in armour. On a small island off the west coast.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-Conquistodors-Map.png
Smuggler A smuggler with Cocaine brick in a sunken Narcosub. Underwater off the southwest edge of the larger of the two islands west of Cayo Perico.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-NarcosubSmuggler.png
Wrecks-GTAO-CayoPerico-Narcosub-Map.png
Robber Remains of an intruder killed while trying to breach the compound fence. Western end of the compound perimeter wall/fence.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-FenceCutter.png
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-FenceCutter-Map.png
Whale A whale skeleton In the sea, off the southeastern coast.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-Whale-Map.png
Whale with alien egg. A whale skeleton with an alien egg. In the sea, off the northeastern coast.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Skeletons-WhaleAndEgg-Map.png
8[4] wrapped corpses. Two female bodies wrapped up. Off the southwest point close to the shore.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Corpses-SouthwestDuo.png
CayoPerico-GTAO-Corpses-SouthwestPoint-Map.png
A wrecked Blista Compact with three more female corpses Near the drainage tunnel entry to El Rubio's Compound.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Corpses-DrainageTunnel-Map.png
Two more more female corpses Near the drainage tunnel entry to El Rubio's Compound, just east of the three above.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Corpses-SoutheastDuo.png
One wrapped corpse Just southeast of the above two corpses.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Corpses-SoutheastSingle.png
Whale
"Well, well. You do not see this too often on dry land. It must have become beached"
— Pavel

A beached whale corpse.

Next to the fishing jetty on the western part of the island.
CayoPerico-GTAO-Whale.png
CayoPerico-GTAO-BeachedWhale-Map.png
Shark The mauled corpse of a shark. Eastern shoreline
CayoPerico-GTAO-Corpses-Shark.png
CayoPerico-GTAO-Corpses-Shark-Map.png

Locations and Landmarks

Influence

The island appears to be based on Norman's Cay (a.k.a. Cayo Norman), a small Bahamian island used by the Medellín Cartel as a transshipment base for smuggling cocaine into the United States and as a private party island, while the estates and welcome sign are based on Hacienda Nápoles, a luxurious estate built and owned by Colombian drug lord and Medellín Cartel leader Pablo Escobar. Cayo Perico's airfield also bears strong resemblance to Norman's Cay Airport, as seen in the map from El Rubio Dossier teaser. The party and the musical guests are also likely an allusion to the infamous Fyre Festival, a fraudulent attempt to host a luxury music festival in Norman's Cay that ended in utter disaster.

The shape of the island appears to be based on Canouan, a small island belonging to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, mirrored and rotated.

Perico is also a slang for "cocaine" in Mexico and Colombia, referencing the fact that the island has a cocaine farm.

Events of GTA Online

The Cayo Perico Heist

Cayo Perico is first visited when the Online protagonist accompanies English Dave to a party hosted by Juan Strickler under the guise of a management member. The player then sneaks off to scope out the island, by hacking into a communication tower to gain access to Strickler's compound's CCTV in order to find out where Martin Madrazo's files are being kept. Afterward, Pavel directs the player to scope out the North Dock and some secondary targets, before instructing them to continue scoping for infiltration, escape points, point of interests or return to Los Santos to prepare for the heist. Once all preparation works are done, the crew executes the heist, recover Madrazo's files and escapes.

Pavel later informs the player that they can return to Cayo Perico to pull off more heists once Strickler stocks up on more cash, gold, and other equipment to be robbed. The party was over, so the player must pose as smugglers in order to access the island again.

At any point during the heist setup, players can return to Cayo Perico to scope out additional information.

After completing the heist as host, players can return to Cayo Perico and attend the party in free roam. It's not possible to explore the island while the party's going on.

Mission Appearances

Grand Theft Auto Online

The Cayo Perico Heist

Gallery

Pre-release
Newswire release
In game

Trivia

  • The island shares some programming traits with other outside locations in prior games: Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and State of North Yankton/Ludendorff in Grand Theft Auto V.
    • The island can only be visited in missions or by a scripted/restricted trip to the dance parties.
    • There are no radio stations available when traveling by vehicle on the island.
  • Vehicles on the island all have San Andreas license plates, unlike the Ludendorff-dedicated snowy models/variants which had a dedicated North Yankton plate applied.
  • With the exception of a Speedo parked outside the compound, some Wrecks, and rarely spawning Verus ATVs, El Rubio and his cartel seem to avoid the use of modern land vehicles on the island, including Juan’s personal Stafford and Brioso 300.
  • The horn and lights on vehicles do not function when the player scopes the island, but they function during the heist finale.
  • If the player takes a photo with the Snapmatic app, the photo's location name is displayed as being "San Andreas" instead of Cayo Perico. This is most likely due to the fact that the game is scripted to display the Pacific Ocean or San Andreas name if the player is too far from the map.
  • The island is never mentioned by name in the characters' dialogues. This may mean that Cayo Perico's name came at the end of the development of the DLC. Most dialogues refer it as "paradise".
  • In the Kosatka/Pavel introduction cutscene, the coordinates for Cayo Perico are shown on the Heist Planning Table as 55.9533° N, 3.1883° W. When entered into Google Earth however, it's revealed that these are actually the coordinates for Edinburgh, Scotland where Rockstar North is headquartered. Their offices at Barclay House as of 2021 are several streets over to the southeast of the direct coordinate point.

References

  1. "The Cayo Perico Heist: Coming December 15 to GTA Online" - Rockstar Newswire
  2. "Watch the New Trailer for The Cayo Perico Heist" - Rockstar Newswire
  3. Guard 1: "I swear, man, it crashed right over there."
    Guard 2: "So what, he like, took the controls?"
    Guard 1: "Yeah, man. Out of his fucking mind."
    Guard 2: "The American?"
    Guard 1: "They're all American. The party guy, you know?"
    Guard 2: "Oh yeah, that asshole."
    Guard 2: "So what did you do?"
    Guard 1: "Me? Nothing. Camilo took him behind a rock."
    Guard 2: "What... at the party?"
    Guard 1: "Yeah."
    Guard 2: "Shit..."
    —Two guards overheard during the heist finale.

  4. Game files:Prop positions <archetypeName>Prop_water_corpse_02</archetypeName> <position x="5076.25200000" y="-5804.79800000" z="-10.37372000"/> <archetypeName>Prop_water_corpse_01</archetypeName> <position x="5068.41600000" y="-5792.25300000" z="-6.57220500"/> <archetypeName>Prop_water_corpse_02</archetypeName> <position x="5066.49200000" y="-5795.96100000" z="-7.35724800"/> <archetypeName>Prop_water_corpse_01</archetypeName> <position x="4825.38000000" y="-6044.04600000" z="-5.20295800"/> <archetypeName>Prop_water_corpse_01</archetypeName> <position x="5048.69700000" y="-5830.24300000" z="-15.32573000"/> <archetypeName>Prop_water_corpse_01</archetypeName> <position x="4824.34000000" y="-6045.57500000" z="-5.36462900"/> <archetypeName>Prop_water_corpse_01</archetypeName> <position x="5044.38700000" y="-5827.08900000" z="-15.33052000"/> <archetypeName>Prop_water_corpse_01</archetypeName> <position x="5052.92900000" y="-5826.10400000" z="-15.02450000"/>

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