The Best Indoor and All-Weather Activities in Samoa
Welcome to the tropical paradise of Samoa where the weather is, indeed, tropical! That’s right, Samoa does experience its fair share of downpours. While we would usually recommend to “just get on with it” when it starts raining in Samoa, as the rain usually passes quickly and the hot breeze will dry you out in a second, we understand that some people just don’t like to be out in the the wet stuff or perhaps its one of those rare occasions when the rain is relentless… Either way, we have the perfect list of indoor and all-weather activities, right here, in the best things to do in Samoa on a rainy day!
1. Shop and Enjoy the Cultural Ambience of the Markets
Something you can do on any of the islands in Samoa, the markets of Apia (Upolu) or Salelologa (Savai’i) will keep you out of the weather and entertained, whether it’s for the cultural ambience or to shop until you drop. The largest market in Samoa and a hotspot for all sorts of cultural goings-on, Fugalei Market in Apia is a sight not to be missed. A similar setup can be found at the Salelologa Market on Savai’i. Back in Apia, the Samoa Women’s Association of Growers (SWAG) Market is a cute Saturday gathering, while the Apia Flea Market is your go-to for traditional and contemporary Samoan crafts. There’s much to go through when it comes to experiencing the markets, so take a look at the 8 Best Markets in Samoa to discover the best ones to check out.
Location: All over Samoa! See the link above for specific locations.
2. Check Out Falemata’aga, The Museum of Samoa in Apia…
A rainy day is a perfect time to visit one of Apia’s best indoor attractions, Falemata’aga, The Museum of Samoa. The donation-based museum has an impressive collection of historical artefacts from across Samoa and the South Pacific. If you don’t want to sift through it all yourself, free guided tours are available with passionate guides to show you the six different galleries boasting 3,000-year-old Lapita pottery, colonisation history and even a small art exhibition. There’s plenty here to keep you occupied for as long as it takes for the rain to clear. Stuck in Apia? You might just want to skip to the 12 Things to Do in Apia on a Rainy Day instead.
Location: Vaitele Street (look out for the large mural on the building), Apia.
3. … Or the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum in Apia
The impeccably maintained villa of the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895), who lived in Samoa for the remaining four years of his life, is preserved for visitors to enjoy today. While “Villa Vailima” has had a few makeovers over the years, the home has been filled with replicas to represent what this classic colonial home would have looked like. That’s not to say there aren’t a few original trinkets, books and personal belongings to admire, as well as stories to immerse in while taking the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum tour with one of the museum’s incredibly knowledgeable guides. Learn more about the museum, as well as other indoor attractions ideal for a rainy day in Samoa, in the 5 Best Museums in Samoa.
Location: Signposted along Cross Island Road in the village of Avele, just south of Apia.
4. Experience the Samoa Cultural Village in Apia…
“Fa’a Samoa” means “The Samoan Way” and you’ll certainly get the full flavour of the Samoan culture at Samoa Cultural Village. Happening from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday, the experience includes a number of workshops and demonstrations all taking place under the cover of various fales closely huddled together. Weave your own plate for the umu, be formally welcomed with an ‘ava ceremony and see how a traditional umu feast is prepared. While your lunch is cooking, you’ll see how ‘ava bowls are carved and even witness a Samoan tatau (tattoo) being performed in the traditional manner. Finally, sit down with your freshly prepared umu lunch while watching a fiafia cultural performance. Discover other fa’a Samoan experiences in the 10 Best Cultural Activities in Samoa.
Location: Behind the Samoa Tourism Information Centre, Beach Road, Apia.
5. … Or the Siapo Demonstration on Savai’i
While the rain is pouring could be the best time to do this amazing and refreshingly authentic cultural experience in Palauli village on Savai’i. Stop at the sign for the “Siapo Demonstration” where you’ll be invited into a local family’s fale for a demonstration of traditional canvas-making and painting techniques. You can even give it a go yourself! From cutting down the young mulberry tree to leaving with a completed piece of Samoan siapo (also known as tapa), the demonstration lasts approximately 45 minutes. For more ways to stay dry on the island, take a look at the 10 Things to Do on Savai’i on a Rainy Day.
Location: Palauli village, signposted off the main road on the southeast coast (near the Afu Aau Waterfall), Savai’i.
6. Make It a Spa Day
Rainy days are the perfect excuse to treat yourself to the pure indulgence of a spa day. Book yourself into one of Samoa’s serene spas, from the selection of locally-run spas in Apia to Samoa’s glorious resort spas, as listed in the 7 Best Spa Resorts in Samoa. Some accommodations on Savai’i also offer in-villa massages, which you can learn more about in the 10 Best Places to Get a Massage in Samoa. Needless to say, you are never too far away from finding your zen.
Location: All over Samoa! Check out the 10 Best Spas in Samoa for specific locations.
7. Admire the Art at the EFKS Museum on Upolu
Certainly an art gallery rather than a museum, the EFKS Museum boasts a large glass-walled undercover fale packed with the creations of the talented students of the School of Fine Arts. There is a range of contemporary carvings, sculptures, paintings and more to admire or even purchase should you feel moved enough. If there’s a break in the rain, explore the grounds with its open-air walkways around the lake which provide a tranquil setting to explore. Discover more galleries worth visiting in the 5 Best Art Galleries in Samoa.
Location: Malua (signposted next to the Malua Theological College) along Main West Coast Road on the northwest coast of Upolu.
8. Go Snorkelling…
Considering you’re going to get wet anyway, why not don your mask and snorkel and join the fish? There endless opportunities for snorkelling in Samoa, from Savaia Giant Clam Sanctuary, Palolo Deep, Lalomanu Beach on Upolu to Lano, Manase, Asau, Vaisala and Faleaupo on Savai’i. Some accommodations hire snorkelling gear for a small fee, but these aren’t always great quality. For this reason, we highly recommend bringing your own or hiring some from one of the gear rentals on the island.
Location: All over Samoa! Check out The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel for locations.
9. … Or Scuba Diving…
Who cares if it’s raining when you’re several metres under the ocean’s surface? Vibrant coral gardens, dramatic canyons, swim throughs and deep pinnacles; there are many exciting adventures to be had in the waters surrounding Upolu and the nearby Manono island. Meanwhile, Savai’i offers lagoon dives among the turtles, eagle rays, clownfish and nudibranchs and a shallow wreck dive of the John Williams V. See The Top 10 Places to Scuba Dive in Samoa for more on the subject.
Location: All over Samoa! See The Best Scuba Diving in Samoa for tour operators and their locations.
10. … Or Visit Samoa’s Natural Waterpark, Papase’ea Sliding Rocks
More water can only make Samoa’s natural waterpark better, so don’t let the wet weather deter you from the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks! After walking down an anxiously high number of steps, knowing that you have to get back up them again, you’ll come across the first and biggest slide that locals call the “men’s slide”; a near verticle 5-m (16-ft) slide. Further down is the “kids’ slide”, a much less precarious slide with a little drop at the end of extra fun. Finally, at the bottom, you have the “women’s slide”. Lots of fun, lots of laughs; what’s not to love? Check out more awesome natural attractions like this in The Top 20 Natural Wonders in Samoa.
Location: Se’ese’e, Faleata District on the outskirts of Apia. The access road turns off Maugafolau Road near the University of the South Pacific campus.
11. Cosy Up in a Cafe, Dine at a Restaurant or Drink Away the Rainy Day Blues at a Bar
A rainy day could be the perfect day to relax with a locally roasted coffee, a smooth tropical juice or cocktail, and delight in Samoan and international cuisine. Apia certainly has your largest offering of cafes, as listed in the 10 Best Cafes in Apia & Upolu, while tiki touring around Upolu and Savai’i will bring you to a number of resorts where you can sit down for cocktails, lunch or dinner by the beach. Check out the latter in the 20 Best Restaurants in Samoa and 10 Best Bars in Samoa.
Location: All over Samoa! See the link above for restaurants and their locations.
12. Hide in a Cave on Savai’i
That’s right, Savai’i has plenty of caves to explore and exploring them while it’s raining might just be a perfect time. For the most time spent out of the rain, we recommend Pe’ape’a Cave, whose cave entrance is mere metres from the roadside. Named after the white-rumped swiftlets that live in this ancient lava tube, Pe’ape’a Cave is believed to stretch for 1 km (0.6 mi) underground. Guided tours take you a short way into the cave before it narrows and becomes too difficult to crawl through. Keep noise and torchlights low so as to not disturb the swiftlets that nest in these caves. Check out more caves to explore in the 10 Best Caves in Samoa.
Location: Letui village, signposted off the roadside on the northern coast of Savai’i.
13. Engage in Your Accommodation’s Cultural Demonstrations
A rainy day could be the perfect time to take your resort up on the offer for its cultural demonstrations. At the Amoa Resort on Savai’i, for instance, choose between a weaving demonstration under the cover of the dining fale or learn how to make koko Samoa (Samoan hot chocolate) with tastings included at the bar. At Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge or Seabreeze Resort watch locals prepare an umu, weaving demonstrations and more exclusively on a Friday (if the demand is there – be sure to book ahead). There are many more examples, which we also list in the 10 Best Cultural Activities in Samoa.
Location: All over Samoa! See the link above for location specifics.
14. Spend the Day Shopping in Apia
Home to talented craftspeople who have passed down techniques from generation to generation, Samoa certainly entices with unique woodwork, gorgeous siapo paintings, hand-printed clothing and much more – just see the 10 Best Souvenirs from Samoa for an idea of the amazing handicrafts available. With this in mind, spending some time perusing the craft and bodycare shops of the nation’s capital, Apia, is a very viable way to spend a rainy day. Check out the retail highlights in The Guide to Shopping in Samoa + The Best Places to Shop.
Location: Apia. Check out the links above for shopping recommendations and their locations.
15. See the Latest Art Exhibition at the Tiapapata Art Centre on Upolu
After having a quick look inside the Baha’i House of Worship next door – see the 25 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Upolu, call into the Tiapapata Art Centre with always something interesting to see. The indoor attraction has an ever-changing line-up of art exhibitions following a theme with creations from local artists. The art centre also hosts regular evening events like documentary and arthouse film screenings, as well as astronomy nights (although, the latter isn’t so good for a rainy evening). Try their vegan cuisine at the cafe too – find out more in Samoa for Vegans & Vegetarians + 10 Best Restaurants.
Location: Malololelei village along the Cross Island Road, approximately 8 km (5 mi) south of Apia (just past the Baha’i Temple), Upolu.
16. Work on Your Wellness with a Yoga Class
Ensure you leave Samoa rejuvenated by partaking in a yoga session. Either join a class, such as on weekday mornings at Taumeasina Island Resort or Aganoa Lodge or book Yoga Samoa to provide a one-on-one or group session at your chosen accommodation. Alternatively, look out for yoga retreats hosted at Samoa’s resorts for integrating yoga into your daily routine while benefitting from other wellness activities. Learn more about yoga retreats in The Guide to Retreats in Samoa: Yoga, Wellness & More.
Location: All over Samoa! See recommended locations in the 10 Best Places to Experience Yoga in Samoa.
17. Have a Look Inside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Apia
This striking cathedral looming over the Apia Harbour is undoubtedly one of the most awe-inspiring in Samoa, from the outside and, luckily for a rainy day, within. Inside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral boasts an ornate timber ceiling and vibrant stained-glass windows. The original church was constructed in 1884 with the most recent reconstruction estimated to have cost ST$13 million, so go have a visit for the love of funding!
Location: Beach Road opposite the Samoa Tourism Information Centre, Apia.
18. Pray the Rain Away at the Local Church (on a Sunday)
Pray for the rain to pass at one of Samoa’s enchanting church services. Whatever the weather, the powerful harmonies echoing across the churches on a Sunday is an experience not to be missed. Don your most church-appropriate attire (cover knees and shoulders) and head to one of the churches across the island, typically with a 10 am service.
Location: All over Samoa! Check out the 10 Best Churches in Samoa to Experience as a Visitor for church recommendations.
19. Experience a Fiafia Night
If the rain continues into the evening, you better hope that there’s a fiafia night on! “Fiafia” means “happy” in Samoan, which follows an equation that can’t help but put a smile on the faces of locals and visitors alike. Many will start with an ‘ava (kava) welcoming ceremony before guests are treated to a buffet of Samoan staples and international favourites. Once your stomach is gleeful, the show can get underway with cultural Pacifika dancing and, usually the highlight of the show, siva afi which is Samoa’s very own knife fire-dancing in the homeland where Polynesian fire dancing originated! Check out all of our recommended shows in the 10 Best Cultural Shows (Fiafia) in Samoa.
Location: All over Samoa! See the link above for specific locations.
20. Take the Ferry to the Next Island
As long as the weather isn’t as bad as to cancel the crossing, taking the ferry to the “other” island might just be the perfect way to get away from the rain! That’s right, very often the weather on Upolu is far worse than on Savai’i and vice versa. You can even see the weather difference across the channel! So take a look at our Samoa Ferry Guide: How to Use the Ferry for Interisland Travel in Samoa and hurry to the other island before the weather deteriorates.
Location: Mulifanua Wharf, west coast of Upolu or Salelologa Wharf, east coast of Savai’i.
More About Rainy Days in Samoa
That’s it for our guide on things to do in Samoa on a rainy day but by no means the end of our Samoa advice! Check out these other articles to help plan the perfect getaway:
- Samoa Weather, Seasons & Climate + Samoa Weather by Month
- 101 Best Things to Do in Samoa: The Ultimate List
- 10 Things to Do in Samoa at Night
Finally, plan the rest of your Samoa getaway with The Best Samoa Travel Guide: Plan a Trip to Samoa the EASY Way.