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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Samoa in 2024 (Our Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Samoa in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit Samoa?

The best time to visit Samoa is June through September, with ideal weather for outdoor activities and smaller tourist crowds. This period brings comfortable temperatures, perfect for snorkeling, rainforest exploration, and cultural festivals like the Teuila Festival. Late September offers a quieter experience with pleasant weather and opportunities for discounts before the wet season begins.

If you’re planning on visiting Samoa soon, you’re in for a treat. This archipelago of 10 islands in the South Pacific offers lush, tropical beauty with rugged volcanic mountains blanketed in green, pretty white sand beaches, plunging waterfalls, and dense rainforests teeming with tropical plants and wildlife. 

It’s a less-visited destination than similar island chains, giving you a chance to explore and experience the beauty without being shoulder-to-shoulder with other tourists.

Most people coming to Samoa visit Upolu, one of the largest, most developed islands. It’s home to the capital, Apia, as well as Samoa’s international airport, tons of restaurants, and a wide variety of resorts and hotels. The other inhabited islands in Samoa you can visit include Savai’i, Apolima, and Manono. 

Learning the best time to visit Samoa becomes a priority once you’re settled on taking a trip to the islands. Like other tropical destinations, temperatures are warm year-round (typically 75-89°F), but bouts of heavy rain and storms can make certain parts of the year less than ideal for a visit to this South Pacific paradise. 

We’ll take a look at all the factors that can affect your visit — weather, cost, crowds, and festivals — to highlight the overall best time to visit Samoa along with the cheapest, least busy, and worst times to go. 

The Overall Best Time to Visit Samoa

Gorgeous white sand beach with clear teal water and blue skies above pictured during the best time to visit Samoa

Martin Valigursky/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Samoa is June through September, when the dry season is in full force, hotel prices are affordable, and conditions are perfect for beaches, hiking, swimming, and exploring towns. 

Between June and September, you’ll find the best Samoan weather for all the outdoor activities and excursions you have in mind. Highs rarely go over 87°F, lows are in the mid-70s, and rainfall reaches annual minimums during this slice of the dry season:

  • June: 74-87°F; 8 rainy days
  • July: 73-86°F; 6 rainy days 
  • August: 73-86°F; 5-6 rainy days
  • September: 74-86°F; 8 rainy days

While this period encompasses the busy peak season (typically July through October), Samoa in general sees fewer tourists than other tropical destinations like Hawaii or the Maldives. About 142,000 people visited Samoa in 2023 overall, making huge peak season crowds less of a concern.

This is the prime time to enjoy Samoa’s treasure trove of natural beauty, hiking trails, dive sites, and bustling towns. It’s a great time to hike Mt. Matavanu trails into the crater for incredible views of the ocean, lush hills, and valleys.

Paddle the bays in ocean kayaks, rent bikes to tour the coasts, hang out on Upolu’s postcard-worthy Lalomanu Beach, or venture out to the towering Papapapai-Tai Falls. 

Take a day or two of your trip to get to know Apia, Samoa’s small and welcoming capital. You’ll feel like a local as you eat at delicious restaurants and street food carts, wander local markets for crafts and produce, and check out museums and galleries. 

At least one day during your trip, it’s worth taking the ferry to the neighboring island of Savai’i (60-90 minutes) to glimpse a more natural Samoa with lava fields, caves, waterfalls, and plenty of secluded spots to enjoy the beaches, rainforest, and mountain views. 

Don’t think that peak season means peak pricing, either. Samoa is known to be incredibly affordable in terms of accommodations and you’ll pay around $100-$110/night on average throughout the year here! 

Here’s a look at the average cost per night for hotels and resorts across Samoa, taken from monthly Google Hotels data for 2-4 star accommodations:

  • June: $100/night
  • July: $109/night
  • August: $103/night
  • September: $95/night

As far as events and festivals go, this is the best time of year to catch cultural parades and celebrations happening in Apia and smaller villages across Samoa. Here are some of the events you can look forward to between June and September. 

  • Independence Day (Jun. 1) sees big celebrations, fireworks, and parades around the islands as Samoa celebrates its 1962 independence 
  • Fautasi Outrigger Canoe Competition (Jun.) brings 12 long boats to compete in a race from Upolu’s north coast to the Apia Harbor
  • Waterfront Night Market (Monthly) happens on the last Friday of the month year-round in Apia’s Samoa Cultural Village with produce, food, plant sales, drinks, and music  
  • Miss Samoa Pageant (Sept.) brings Samoa’s pageant contestants to compete for the top title, emphasizing Samoan culture, history, and current events 
  • Teuila Festival (Sept.) is Samoa’s biggest annual festival, with traditional dance and music, canoe racing, food booths, parades, and more for several days in Apia
  • Apia Jazz Festival (Sept.) opens several stages across the islands to local and international jazz artists for concerts, artist interviews, and more

Airfare costs at the start of the peak season are higher, so be aware before you book. Skyscanner data found that June and July see the highest flight prices of the year to Samoa, but August and September offer a nice respite as the second and third-cheapest months to fly to the islands. 

Cheapest Time to Visit Samoa

Sunny morning with slightly cloudy skies pictured from the walking path by the white cathedral built on a rocky black coast during the cheapest time to visit Samoa

Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Samoa is between September and December, when the rainy season returns and the peak season wanes, leading hotels and tour operators to drop their rates.

After the blissful months of dry weather between May/June and September, the rains return with a vengeance in October. The wet season means anywhere from 13 to 18 rainy days each month, making it harder to enjoy the outdoor activities that Samoa is so popular for.

  • September: 74-86°F; 8 rainy days
  • October: 74-86°F; 13 rainy days
  • November: 75-87°F; 16-17 rainy days 
  • December: 76-87°F; 16-17 rainy days

You’re better off planning your visit during drier September, with October as a back-up option if flights or hotels aren’t available for your travel dates. 

Rainfall aside, this is a great time of year to see rainbows lighting up the skies after storms in prisms of color. Rainbows are an important part of traditional Samoan beliefs, representing “the great step” that predicted victory in battle when they appeared before warriors on land or at sea. 

The best part of visiting between September and December is how affordable your stay will be this time of year. Hotels and excursion/tour operators reduce prices in the post-peak season, so you can book a longer visit or stay at a higher quality hotel without increasing your trip budget.

Here’s a look at average prices per night according to Google Hotels data in Samoa during these months (check out how cheap it can be to stay in September or November):

  • September: $95/night
  • October: $103/night
  • November: $96/night
  • December: $101/night

With so much rainfall in October, November, and December, you’ll want to come up with some indoor plans when wet days make beaches, hiking, and canoeing impossible.

Check out Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde author Robert Louis Stevenson’s home museum in Vailima on a hill above Apia, venturing out for a hike on Mt. Vaea’s Road of the Loving Hearts trail to see his burial site if skies clear up. 

Visit the Samoa Cultural Village on Beach Road in Apia to spend a few hours witnessing proud Samoan traditions in dance, song, and food. You can watch food preparation, make yourself a plate, and eat with locals while learning about local customs. 

Explore the shops and eateries around Apia to get to know the locals and traditional ways. Shops like Janet’s and Mailelani Samoa offer gifts, hand-crafted clothes, and jewelry, while the Plantation House displays local art and hand-crafted textiles for sale.  

You’ll find fun events and annual festivals to check out between September and December, including the following:

  • Fiafia Nights (Varies) are local celebrations meaning “happy get together” where Samoan music, dance, and buffet dinners bring locals together with tourists, especially around Christmas, saints days, and on weekend nights at resorts
  • Life-Con (Aug.-Oct.) showcases local fashion and designers with a 3-day event filled with fashion shows and unveiling of new collections in Apia
  • White Sunday (Oct.) or Aso Sa Pa’epa’e celebrates Samoan children, who wear all-white clothing to church and family gatherings afterward
  • Christmas festivities (Dec.) include Christmas on the Waterfront (Dec. 21-23) in Apia, a Christmas parade featuring Santa (Dec. 21), carols and entertainment in Matagialalua Friendship Park, Waterfront Night Markets, and decoration displays
  • New Year celebrations (Dec. 31) include the New Year Countdown with live music, dancing, and refreshments that culminate with the Prime Minister’s New Year Address and a huge fireworks display in Apia and on Savai’i

Overall, you’ll benefit the most from visiting during September, October, November, or December if budget is your top priority and you don’t mind making indoor plans on rainy days (which are frequent this time of year). 

Least Busy Time to Visit Samoa

Stairs leading down to a diving platform in the Sua Trench pictured from above with trees surrounding the watering hole during the least busy time to visit Samoa

Martin Vinas/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Samoa is February through April. Heavy rains keep tourists away, leaving wide-open beaches, hotels, and tours for you to enjoy when skies clear up. 

February, March, and April sees a huge dip in tourism across the Samoan islands, making it the perfect time to visit if you’re hoping to avoid big crowds and don’t want to book months in advance to score a good hotel room. 

Warm weather with a lot of rainfall is the general outlook when you visit during these months, so it’s important to have backup plans indoors (museums, galleries, bars, shops, etc.) in case your outdoor plans don’t pan out due to rain. 

  • February: 76-87°F; 15-16 rainy days
  • March: 76-87°F; 15 rainy days
  • April: 75-88°F; 13 rainy days

With fewer people visiting the islands between February and April, it’s a good time to take advantage of tours and excursions on clearer days. A little cloud cover can make a rainforest hike or snorkeling trip even more enjoyable without the hot sun beating down! 

Visit the EFKS Museum, Samoa’s biggest museum, just outside of Apia to see fine art, cultural artifacts, and cool statues of Samoan gods and goddesses if you need to duck out of the rain for a few hours this time of year. 

The covered Old Apia Market is awesome to visit on a rainy or cloudy day, and you can load up on tropical fruits and veggies, sweet treats, and tasty food.

Need to relax? A trip to one of Samoa’s premier spas will pamper you with massages, treatments, and more. Many resorts offer day spa services, even if you’re not a guest! 

Hotel prices are affordable year-round in Samoa, and this less-busy period is no exception. Take a look at the average price per night according to data we’ve averaged from Google Hotels:

  • February: $105/night
  • March: $102/night
  • April: $104/night

Since there are so few visitors arriving in Samoa this time of year, you’ll also have the benefit of better hotel availability, even at the most popular resorts. You can book your room closer to your actual travel dates, score rooms with better views, and enjoy a less-crowded pool and other resort amenities. 

You’ll find a few activities and events happening this time of year across Samoa, including the following: 

  • Apia Arts and Crafts Fair (Mar.) brings local artists and craftsmen to Apia to showcase their works and wares for tourists and locals from all Samoan islands; food booths also participate 
  • Easter services (Mar./Apr.) happen around the islands on Easter Sunday as families gather for church services and meals 
  • Samoa International Game Fishing Tournament (Apr.) hosted by SIGFA annually is a 7-day event with anglers competing to reel in the biggest game fish with closing ceremonies and prizes

While February through April can be very wet, you’ll miss the big holiday crowds and beat the coming peak season that begins around May or June. It’s the best time to visit Samoa if you want a more relaxing visit.

Worst Time to Visit Samoa

Rain clouds overhead, as seen from the perspective of a person walking down the Lalomanu Beach during the worst time to visit Samoa

Radoslav Cajkovic/Shutterstock

The South Pacific cyclone season (November through April) is the worst time to visit Samoa. February and March stand out as seeing the worst storms and highest potential for damage and danger. 

During the South Pacific cyclone season, tropical storms spin up in the Pacific and bring lots of cloud cover, rain, and high winds to islands situated in this part of the ocean — including Samoa. 

Samoa can get battered by these powerful storms, which range from tropical depressions and storms to tropical cyclones and severe tropical cyclones. Heavy rains occur during the cyclone season, making the months from November to April a less-than-pleasant time to visit Samoa. 

  • November: 75-87°F; 16-17 rainy days 
  • December: 76-87°F; 16-17 rainy days 
  • January: 76-87°F; 18 rainy days 
  • February: 76-87°F; 15-16 rainy days
  • March: 76-87°F; 15 rainy days
  • April: 75-88°F; 13 rainy days

The rain finally begins to taper off come April, and things are nice and dry by the month of June. But if you’re visiting anytime during the cyclone season, you’re going to see a lot of precipitation and the risks that come along with powerful storms like these. 

Most of the severe tropical cyclones that occur in this region happen during February and March, which may be the worst of the poor-weather months to visit Samoa. But there’s always a chance of a storm, severe or not, during this part of the year.

You’re better off planning your trip just a few months later during the best time to visit Samoa (June through September). 

But if you’re set on coming between November and April, you will see a few benefits: Cheaper prices, smaller crowds, and great hotel availability. Flights to Samoa are at their lowest prices during April, making it a potentially good time to visit. 

Here’s a look at the Google Hotels data for the average price per night at Samoan hotels during November through April:

  • November: $96/night
  • December: $101/night
  • January: $106/night
  • February: $105/night
  • March: $102/night
  • April: $104/night

You’ll find some events and festivals going on during this part of the year, which we’ve highlighted above in their respective sections. Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Easter celebrations occur as well as events like the Apia Arts and Crafts Festival (March) and the Samoa International Game Fishing Tournament (April). 

With low prices, few tourists, and potential for excellent airfare prices during April, there could a silver lining to visiting Samoa this time of year — but don’t expect sunny skies and idyllic beach days. 

Things to Consider

Before you plan your visit to Samoa, there are some travel considerations you should keep in mind to make the most of your stay. 

  • Respect local customs and culture. The Samoan people are proud of their traditions and culture, and they expect visitors (“guests”) to respect these customs while visiting the country. Core concepts of the culture include respecting elders, removing shoes to enter homes, speaking to others at eye level, wearing modest clothing, and trying some of every dish presented to you.
  • Understand the road rules. Samoans drive on the left side of the road, like most European countries. If you’re used to driving on the right, it can be a learning curve if you’re planning on renting a car while in Samoa.  
  • Samoan and English are spoken. If you’re worried about a language barrier when visiting Samoa, don’t be! Samoan and English are both official languages here, so you’ll find English speakers wherever you go in the islands. 
  • You’ll need a passport. There can be some confusion with American Samoa being nearby (which doesn’t require a passport for U.S. citizens, only a birth certificate). However, a passport is required for U.S. citizens entering Samoa, which is not U.S. territory. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Lalamanu Beach on Upolu island in Samoa showing blue skies and palm trees with white sand for a frequently asked questions section detailing the overall best time of year to visit Samoa

Radoslav Cajkovic/Shutterstock

Take a look at the most frequently asked questions from travelers interested in visiting Samoa below to learn more. 

What is the best time to travel to Samoa?

June through September is the best time to travel to Samoa, owing to the warm weather, minimal rain, and ample events and festivals that happen during this part of the peak season. Since Samoa boasts affordable hotel and tour prices, the peak season isn’t expensive and won’t cost you much more than the cheapest time to visit (September through December).

If you can, plan your visit during July or August, which are the driest months of the year in Samoa and see just 5-6 rainy days each month.

What is the rainy season in Samoa?

The rainy season in Samoa runs from November to April, sometimes extending a bit and encompassing October and May. This coincides with the South Pacific tropical cyclone season, which brings lots of cloud cover and precipitation as well as strong winds to the South Pacific islands, including Samoa.

The worst months of the rainy season are generally November, December, and January for the sheer amount of rain, while February and March are the most likely to see severe cyclone storms.

When should I go to American Samoa?

American Samoa is a different country than independent Samoa, but the best time to go to American Samoa is the same: Between May/June and September/October, when the blissful dry season occurs.

This period offers the best chance to enjoy outdoor activities like beaches, hiking, snorkeling, and diving.

How many days do you need in Samoa?

Try to spend at least 7 days in Samoa if you’re planning on sticking to Upolu only. If you want to see Upolu, Savai’i, and some of the smaller islands during your trip, you’ll need to spend 10-14 days to get a good feel for the different environments and have plenty of time to explore.

Is it expensive to vacation in Samoa?

It’s expensive to fly to Samoa, but accommodations, food, and tours are very affordable with a favorable exchange rate between Samoan tala and U.S. dollars. You might spend around $100/night USD on your room and pay anywhere from $5-$20 for lunch or dinner meals while you’re here.

Flights are the most expensive part of visiting Samoa, though where you travel from can greatly affect the average price. From the U.S., round trip flights to Samoa can cost $800-$1,500 each and represent the biggest chunk of your total vacation expense.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Samoa?

June through September is by far the best time to visit Samoa, and in our opinion, it’s the only period you should consider if you’re hoping for lots of time on the beach. This is the dry season and you’ll find tons of events, festivals, and tours/activities going on this time of year.

June through September isn’t any more expensive than the other months of the year in terms of accommodations, either! But if you’re serious about saving money, consider planning between September and December instead. It’s rainy, but prices are at their lowest with hotel averages dropping below $100/night.

Wait until February through April if you’re looking for the least busy time of year to visit Samoa, when tourism dwindles and it’s easy to find a great hotel or resort room at a moment’s notice. Flight prices take a nosedive during April for an added benefit. 

As a whole, the period from November to April — the South Pacific cyclone season — is the worst time to go, even though it can be cheap and less crowded. It’s wet, storms are frequent, and risks increase if you visit during these months. 

Plan carefully, aligning your trip with the best months to visit Samoa, and you’ll enjoy a life-changing visit. Once you learn Faʻa Sāmoa — the Samoan way — this tropical archipelago will feel like your home away from home!