Best times to visit Samoa in 2023
For the ideal combination of excellent weather, lower prices and fewer crowds, come during June, August or October.
Located in the South Pacific, Samoa is a picturesque tropical paradise that offers a unique blend of traditional Polynesian culture, stunning natural beauty, and a range of land and sea activities. Following a two-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Samoa's tourism industry is bouncing back considerably. According to the Samoa Observer, over 120,000 tourists have visited since Samoa reopened in August 2022, which is on par with pre-pandemic figures. It’s no wonder that tourists are keen to visit Samoa, a truly underrated tropical paradise that boasts some of the South Pacific's most awarded resorts, along with world-class surfing, diving, and snorkelling. Visitors can even escape entirely across Samoa into traditional villages ruled by chiefs.
Samoa is an ideal year-round destination, but factors such as weather, crowds, prices, and activities, can significantly impact the timing of your trip. In this article, we offer recommendations for the best time to visit Samoa by considering all these factors and more. We provide insights into the best weather conditions, the ideal time to plan special occasions like honeymoons, weddings or family holidays, the perfect time for activities such as surfing, diving, and hiking, the best time to visit to experience Samoa's iconic waterfalls, and Samoa's most popular events and festivals.
For those who want to skip the details, here is a list of the best times to visit Samoa for the top considerations.
- For weather: May to October
- To avoid crowds: January to April, October to mid-December
- For surfing: May to October
- For diving and snorkelling: May to October
- For a honeymoon: May to June, August, October
- For a family holiday: June to October
- For cheap prices: January, February, March
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Best months to visit Samoa - Weather, crowds, events & prices
- Best time for activities
- Best time for special occasions
- Best time for low prices
- Worst time
Samoa weather and climate
Samoa has a tropical equatorial climate, with warm and humid conditions all year round and an ocean temperature which never drops below 25°C. It’s an ideal holiday destination year-round but it’s worth understanding Samoa’s distinct seasons if you prefer sunny, clear days.
Samoa is almost always warm with an average daytime temperature of 24°C-32°C throughout the year - and the hottest weather overall in March. Temperatures are coolest in July, when south-east trade winds blow at their strongest. It’s important to note that Samoa has two distinct seasons which determine the kind of weather patterns you can expect: the dry season which runs from May to October, and the wet season which runs from November to April.
Samoa Dry Season
Samoa's dry season occurs between May and October and is the annual period of lower rainfall in Samoa, with an average of only five days of rain per month. This period corresponds roughly with Australia's winter, making it the coolest time of year in Samoa. The south-east trade winds provide a refreshing breeze, and temperatures remain warm with an average daytime low of only 24°C.
This makes it the perfect time for a beach holiday, surfing, diving, or hiking. August is the driest month in Samoa, while September sees the most amount of sunshine. During the dry season, humidity is lower, making outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and exploring the islands much more comfortable.
It's worth noting that peak visitation occurs during the dry season, so if you're looking to avoid crowds, it's best to plan your trip accordingly. Nonetheless, the dry season is an excellent time to visit Samoa, and its comfortable weather conditions make it a great time to explore the island and all its natural wonders.
Samoa Wet Season
Samoa’s wet season occurs between November and April and is the annual period of higher rainfall in Samoa, with an average of seventeen rain days per month. Samoa’s wet season corresponds roughly with Australia’s summer, making it the warmest time of year to visit. The weather tends to be hot and muggy in this period, with average daytime temperatures between 28- 31°C degrees and humidity at its highest. The rainfall per month is around 487 millimetres on average, though it tends to rain in short, intense bursts that clear quickly. Due to the wet weather, and minor chance of cyclones, the rainy season is the period of the year when Samoa is least crowded and accommodation is cheapest. The rain tends to fall most in Samoa’s mountains rather than on the coast where resorts are located, and you’ll also get to see Samoa’s world-famous waterfalls at their most spectacular.
Best Time to Visit Samoa
Samoa is an excellent destination year-round. That being said, most visitors choose to come in the dry season between May and October, when you can expect over seven hours of sunshine a day and less than five days with any form of rainfall per month. With less rain run-off, water clarity is at its highest, with visibility as high as 85 metres for divers and snorkellers. Samoa’s world-famous surf is at its most consistent in this period, with regular swells arriving from the Southern Ocean. This is also the best time to explore Samoa’s mountains and hinterland on hiking, mountain biking and 4WD excursions. Families tend to visit in June and September, when Australian and New Zealand schools have holidays, so to avoid crowds whilst still experiencing great weather, visit in June, August or October instead.
Between June and September is a particularly nice time to visit, as average temperatures are a pleasant 28°C, around the same temperature as the sea. For the ideal combination of excellent weather, lower prices and fewer crowds, come during June, August or October.
Best months to visit Samoa
The best month overall for a trip to Samoa is October, at the very end of the dry season. Not only is the weather pleasant and less rainy, but there are fewer crowds and airfares are amongst their cheapest all dry season.
January is Samoa’s wettest month, with an average of 644 millimetres of rain falling across an average of 17 days. Temperatures are also highest with an average daily high of 30 °C and a low rarely below 27°C. There’s also a higher chance of cyclones. However, it’s not all bad. Rain is often restricted to afternoon storms and this is the best month to see Samoa’s many world-class waterfalls, primarily around Upolu’s south coast. Pack insect repellent and casual clothes in quick-dry fabrics.
February is one of the rainier months in Samoa, with an average of 18-20 days of rainfall and cloud cover for 87% of the month. Daily temperatures range between 25°C-30°C on average, though they can sometimes go as high as 32°C or as low as 23°C. While conditions aren’t as favourable for diving, snorkelling and surfing, there’s still plenty to do. Explore Samoa’s mountains and valleys at their greenest, and with fewer travellers around. It’s also one of the cheapest months for accommodation. Stick to clothes in quick-dry fabrics and don’t forget mosquito repellent.
Though March signals the end of the wet season, there’s still an average of 373 millimetres of rain in March, with 12 millimetres per day - but that’s still significantly less than February. Daily temperatures average between 27°C-29°C degrees, though temperatures drop to an average of 24°C overnight. There’s more sunshine than February and March with less rainfall making swimming and other water activity options more favourable. With few visitors, divers and surfers will have much of Samoa’s coastline for themselves. Visit the Apia Arts & Crafts Fair to see local artistic talent and traditional handicrafts.
April’s weather is mostly pleasant, as it falls between the wet season and the dry season. Rain falls on an average of 12 days per month, with less humidity, and average high temperatures drop to 28°C. . April is a great time to surf, with consistent swells developing in the Southern Ocean which break on Upolu and Savaii’s southern coastline. More clarity in the ocean makes diving more favourable, while one of the most popular sportfishing events in the South Pacific, the Samoan International Gamefishing Tournament, occurs at the end of April (see the action at Apia Harbour). Super Rugby also comes to Samoa - at Apia Park.
May signals the beginning of Samoa’s dry season – meaning a majority of clear days and slightly cooler weather. Temperatures range between 24°C and T 27°C, and humidity drops to 77%. Reduced rainfall and humidity make May a pleasant month for most activities, especially inland activities such as hiking and mountain biking. Pack long sleeved shirts for extra sun exposure, though mosquitos are less active. Visit Apia’s Polynesian Cultural Centre for the Fire Knife Festival, where dancers spin a flaming knife while doing acrobatics.
June is a great month to visit Samoa – with nearly seven hours of sunshine per day and minimal rain. Temperatures range between 24°C and 27°C on average, making every type of activity pleasant. Water temperatures remain a warm 28°C, meaning surfing, diving, swimming and snorkelling can be done without a wetsuit. June is also the month before the school holidays in Australia and New Zealand bring family visitors throughout July. Pack light clothes for the day but bring a light sweater for evenings. The biggest festival all year takes place at the start of June for Independence Day, held in Apia.
July is a perfect month for a tropical holiday in Samoa. Expect 7.5 hours of sunshine per day, low humidity, strengthening trade winds and only five days of rain on average for July. Average temperature remains around 27°C, though average night time temperatures drop to 19°C. Diving and surfing conditions are optimal in this period. You’ll only need light clothes each day, but consider a sweater for evenings. School holidays in New Zealand and Australia make July one of the most popular family holiday months.
Conditions are pleasant in August, as it is the driest month in Samoa and there’s an average of 7.5 hours of sunshine per day. Temperatures average 24°C-27°C, with evenings cooling to lows of 19°C. The sea is the coolest it’ll be all year – though it's still a warm 27.9°C, meaning all water sports are comfortable throughout the month. It’s also less crowded as school holidays in Australia and New Zealand have finished. Pack something warm for nights. Sports lovers can watch the Samoa Swim Series, International World Long Distance Championships and the Pacific Open Water Championships.
September has the most clear sunny days of any month in Samoa. Daytime temperatures range between 24°C and 27°C on average, and there is very little rain. Trade winds continue to be strong in September with surfers and divers recommended to start early in the day. This is one of the best months for wind-surfers and kite-surfers in Samoa, especially with the sea temperature at around 28.7°C. The Apia Jazz Festival is held in Apia, and attracts well known international jazz musicians.
October is one of the best months to visit Samoa, because the weather is cooler, yet still sunny, without the crowds that come during the peak months of the dry season. As October is the last month of the dry season, humidity remains low and there are over six hours of sunshine on average per day. Expect temperatures between 24°C and 29°C , with evenings warming to an average temperature of 20°C. The trade winds should ease during October, making diving and surfing optimal.
Though November is officially the first month of the wet season, it’s still a nice time to visit Samoa with at least six hours of sunshine per day on average and far less rain than February or March.Temperatures range between 24°C-29°C and there is an average of 217 millimetres of rain all month, spread across 16 days. Pack light clothes in a quick-dry fabric as you’ll experience more sharp, short storms. Trade winds have stopped, so beach time between showers is ideal. Try activities such as village visits and mountain hikes.
The wet season starts to take effect from December in Samoa, with a 71% chance of some sort of precipitation each day of the month. On the brightside, there’s still an average of 4.7 hours of clear or sunny skies each day, and only moderate humidity of 80%. Expect rainfall across 16 days, and 242 millimetres falling for the month. Average temperatures range between 25°C-30°C so it’s warm, but with a gentle breeze. Pack plenty of light clothes in a quick-dry fabric as storms are more prevalent. The trade winds drop out entirely in this month, making this still a good time for water activities.
Best Time to Go to Samoa for specific Activities:
Snorkelling & Diving
With water temperatures averaging between 25°C and 30°C, water activities are comfortable year-round in Samoa. However, the dry season between May and October is the best time for snorkelling and diving because water visibility is at its highest with less run-off from rain. Expect an average of 60 metres visibility and as much as 85 metres. Many marine creatures live year-round in Samoa’s waters – including sea turtles, eagle rays and reef sharks. Humpback whales visit between July and October, which you could see in the water or on boat rides to your diving site. There is one dive operator on both Upolu and Savaii.
You can enjoy surfing year-round in Samoa, though the biggest and most consistent swell is typically experienced in the dry season – between April and October, when swell of between 2-5 metres arrives from the Southern Ocean. During the wet season, swell generally arrives from the north and is smaller and less consistent, and ranges from 1-4 metres. Water temperature stays comfortably between 26-29 °C year-round so you can surf without a wetsuit. Most surf camps and resorts are located along Upolu’s southern coastline.
There are many hiking options in Samoa – from easy one-hour self-guided trails to multi-day guided hikes. However, with a heavily forested, mountainous hinterland, some of Samoa’s best hiking options involve steep climbs through rainforest, dangerous during the wet season. Because Samoa’s hinterland receives more rain than its coastline, it’s best to attempt more challenging hikes in the dry season, particularly between May and October. However, self-guided coastal hikes are easily manageable year-round, especially the coastal hike in O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park. Manoa Tours offer both coastal and hinterland hiking expeditions on Upolu, manoatours.com/hike.
Best Time to Go to Samoa for Events
Held in the first week of September in Samoa’s capital, Apia, the Teuila Festival celebrates every aspect of Samoan culture. Held annually since 1991, island groups from across Samoa compete in a group dance competition, while other aspects of Polynesian culture are on display, from craft making to traditional food cooking techniques. Also catch the Miss Samoa Pageant. Entry is free, except for specified events.
Celebrated each year on June 1, Independence Day is a three-day celebration mostly in Apia to commemorate Samoa’s 1962 independence from New Zealand. The 72-hour party involves feasts, traditional tattooing, fire knife dancing, horse races and culminates with teams all over Samoa competing in a 10 kilometre race across Apia Harbour in 20-metre-long war canoes.
Best Time to Go to Samoa for special occasions
The best time for a honeymoon in Samoa is between August and October, which is the dry season. Day time temperatures hover around 28°C and rain falls for only five days a month. Diving and snorkelling is at its best, while surfers enjoy the most consistent swell. Humidity (and rainfall) is at its lowest, increasing the chances of clear sunsets. Honeymooners should avoid July when school holidays in New Zealand and Australia make this a busy month for families to visit.
For your best chance of a rain-free wedding, plan a wedding in Samoa for August when there’s only an average of 40 millimetres of rain across three days all month. It’s also the most comfortable month for humidity and temperatures with average daily temperatures between 24°C-26°C degrees, but never falling below 22°C .
There’s no better month weather-wise to travel for families than July, when school holidays fall across Australia and New Zealand. Book early as this tends to be the busiest family holiday time. Also consider Easter school holidays or September school holidays, which both fall outside the wet season.
BEST TIME TO GO TO Samoa FOR LOW PRICES
When is the cheapest time to visit Samoa?
The cheapest time to visit Samoa is during its wet season, which runs from November to April, but excluding the busy period of mid-December to mid-January. In the wet season months, the higher rainfall and humidity tend to deter travellers coming en masse, meaning accommodation, activity and airfare prices are often discounted. Consider coming during February or March which are the quietest months in Samoa - if you don’t mind short, intense rain bursts that is.
When is the cheapest time to fly to Samoa?
February is the cheapest month to fly to Samoa. Flights during the wet season – especially January, February and March - offer the cheapest airfare options with February cheapest of all when demand is low. The most expensive months to fly to Samoa tend to be the peak of the dry season - especially during school holidays in July and in September. And also around Christmas when Samoans return to families.
When is the best time to book flights to Samoa?
To secure the best fares for flights to Samoa book between six and eight weeks in advance. For those wanting to book flights to Samoa during the peak school holiday periods, consider booking at least three to six months earlier.
BEST TIME TO GO TO Samoa by area
Consider visiting Apia during the first three days of June to experience Samoa's largest festival, Independence Day. This is a vibrant and exciting time to be in the capital city, with parades, traditional dances, live music, and food fairs. Additionally, June is a good time to visit Apia as it typically has lower rainfall and humidity compared to other months, making it more comfortable to explore the city and its surroundings. It's an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the festivities.
Upolu is a popular destination in Samoa, offering plenty of opportunities to enjoy its beautiful beaches and coastal activities. The best time to visit Upolu is during the dry season, which runs from May to October.
During this time, the South Coast of Upolu is particularly appealing to surfers, as the water clarity is at its highest, and rainfall is minimal, averaging just five days per month. This makes it an excellent time to catch some waves and explore the island's stunning coastline.
Savai’i is Samoa's "other" island, and it's a great option for families looking to avoid the crowds. The best time to visit Savai’i is during the peak of the dry season, which is in July and August.
During this time, you can expect an average of 27 sunny days per month, making it an ideal time to explore the island's stunning natural attractions such as the lava fields, waterfalls, and the Alofaaga Blowholes. To get to Savai’i, take a short ferry ride from Upolu, and you'll be transported to a paradise that's less crowded than other popular destinations.
Best Time to Visit Samoa to Avoid Crowds
The best time to visit Samoa is during February and March, if you're looking to avoid crowds.These months fall within the wet season so you should expect a bit of rain, but it's the perfect time to explore some of Samoa's best attractions - particularly its stunning waterfalls.
During this time, there is plenty of water in the surrounding pools for swimming, and the rain typically only falls in short, sharp bursts. This means you can still enjoy all that Samoa has to offer without worrying about large crowds of tourists.
Worst times to visit Samoa
To avoid the challenges that come with travelling during Samoa's wet season and tourist season, it's best to avoid the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. During this time, many ex-pat Samoans return home to see family, making flights hard to book and more expensive.
Additionally, January is the wettest month of the year, so this would be a bad time to visit for those who don’t like rain. Temperatures and humidity are at their highest during Samoa's wet season, when rain can fall between 15 to 20 days per month during this time. Consider planning your visit outside of this time to make the most of your trip without having to contend with the potential obstacles and unfavourable weather conditions.