Bumdra High Camp
At a Glance
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
In the western, central and eastern Bhutan you will mostly experience cold European-like weather. Winter lasts here from November to March. The Monsoon occurs between June and August when the temperature is normally between 8° and 21°C. October and November are arguably the best months, when the monsoon has passed and the skies are clear. The spring months of March, April and May are best for the flora, but it can be stormy as the monsoon builds up for July-September.
To start planning your vacation to Bumdra High Camp
Bumdra High Camp is located just under Bumdra Monastery (Cave of a Thousand Prayers) at 3800m. Offering standard but comfortable tents, you are provided with a fixed bed, proper bedding, a separate shower and toilet tent.
The camp is situated at 3,800m above sea level on a plateau with fantastic views over Paro valley. The first day is roughly a 4-hour trek at a fairly steep gradient ranging between 30% and 45%. The guide takes it nice and slowly and half way up you are treated to a fabulous picnic at a stupor with unbeatable views.
The camp is a relatively easy walk from lunch so you arrive with a couple of hours before sunset. The camp site is an old yak herders spot, situated below a temple with prayer flags flying from every rise and monal pheasants wandering around. It is an idyllic spot and you will love drinking in the amazing views whilst being served high tea in your very own dining tent.
The tents are fairly basic, with just enough space for a double bed and a little bedside table. They are cosy however and have space to put all your belongings. The tents are canvas with proper off the floor beds and warm duvets. The camp is 3,800m high so it does tend to get chilly at night. Due to laws against cutting down trees there will be no fires but the camp does supple you with a lovely hot water bottle as you go to bed, and a gas fire in your dining tent.
In the morning you will have the chance to climb up to the 4,000m peak before breakfast. You will then trek to The Tigers Nest Monastery on the other side of the mountain. This is roughly a 3-hour trek. On the way down from Tigers Nest you will stop for a short rest.
Bumdra High Camp is tented accommodation. Each tent has a large, off the floor double bed with a mattress and a duvet. You are supplied with a hot water bottle at night as it can get quite cold. The tents have carpets on the floor but are fairly basic in most respects. Each group has their own dining tent.
There are basic facilities at the camp; there is one bucket shower, two tented toilets in the form of long drops set away from the tents and a specially erected mirror and washing unit. Each separate group gets their own dining tent, where they are served dinner, breakfast and afternoon tea.
Jack Mace (Staff)
Bumdra High Camp is not about the accommodation itself but the fantastic 2-day experience it entails. On your first day, you'll set off from the temple which is at about 2,800m. Over the next 2-3 hours you'll make the fairly demanding ascent through the forest to the lunch spot which is at roughly 3,700m. Here you'll be fed delicious Bhutanese cuisine whilst enjoying incredible views of the Paro valley below. After a decent feed, you'll be pleased to know the afternoon's route is a lot easier, it takes a few hours with very little uphill! When you arrive at the Bumdra Camp you are met by the lovely staff, an awesome view, some local hot snacks and a cup of warm tea to warm the cockles. That afternoon you have at leisure, some relax and enjoy the view, some will visit the local temple, some (myself) decide to hike up to the highest local peak (above 4000m) to make the most of the insane vistas. That evening you'll enjoy a rich, hearty meal before diving into bed for a well-earned rest. The tents and camp is pretty basic, but for one night it makes a great experience for the more adventurous. There's no electricity but where you dine there's a decent heater and a light. The tents themselves are very cosy. They have a nice porch area and the main area is just one double bed, it made a great night sleep. In the morning I rose early to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this amazing setting before heading down towards Tigers Nest to marvel at this incredible local wonder. A great experience I'd highly recommend!
Amy Ropner (Staff)
Bumdra High Camp truly is a unique experience, with a proper trek to get up to the campsite it is only advisable for those who do regular cardio. It is worth the walk when you get to the top though, with each group having their own living tent with heater and free flow ginger tea which is important to drink to assist with the high altitude it really is a little slice of heaven. The views are breathtaking, especially early in the morning and you can often sight Bhutan's second highest mountain; Jhomolhari.
Jessica Cator (Staff)
A truly fantastic unique and special experience. The walk to the camp is stunning, if a little steep, and the camp itself is in the most beautiful location. The views will blow you away and the comfort of the tents will be a pleasant surprise. We ate like kinds whilst we were here, and although the accommodation is fairly basic, it's incredibly impressive for where you are.
Sara Wells (Staff)
Bumdra Camp, located above Tigers Nest, is a tented comfortable camp and is truly special.
Firstly, you need to trek to reach the camp, ascending over 1,000m to 3,800m through coniferous forest. This may take about 4hours, and the altitude does slow you down. But it's a glorious challenge offering rewarding views over the Paro Valley and the Himalayan range on the horizon.
Secondly it is comfortable but simple. The camp consists of tarpaulin tents with three layers for night insulation, a double bed with a 12'' mattress and a down duvet as an undersheet & overcover. The number of tents pitched depends on the season, from 5 in winter to 20 in spring. It is run by an attentive team of 5 Bhutanese who whip up lovely nutritious dishes and make sure you have plenty of honey & ginger tea (good for altitude!), there are dining tents (complete with heater) so you can mix with your fellow campers or dine privately should you chose. The staff will even bring you bed tea to wake you in the morning
Also the location is idyllic, surrounded by temples, prayer flags, chortens and amazing views.
Finally the trek down to Tigers Nest offers unique view points not shared by other visitors.
It's not for everyone, because of the altitude, colder temperatures as well as lack of creature comforts - but in my opinion it is the best experience to be had in Bhutan!
Apple plucking season starts from July to August in the region of Paro and Thimphu.
Day Trip to Chelela Pass and Hike Kila Goenpa
Chele La Pass is known to be the highest motorable pass in Bhutan and provides wonderful views over Ha Valley and Paro District, which you have the chance to view today before taking a scenic hike and visit to Kila Nunnery.
Dressing up in traditional Bhutanese dress
Anyone who works in Bhutan must wear traditional national dress, and you can have the chance to dress up for a few hours to see how it feels. The Bhutanese absolute love visitors doing it!
The Drukgyal Dzong is located further up the Paro Valley from the Tiger's Nest Monastery and was built in 1649 by Tenzin Drukdra to celebrate victory over an invading army from Tibet.
Evening Prayers at a Buddhist Monastery
Evening prayers at a Buddhist Monastery is something you should do at least once on a tour of Bhutan. You will witness monks chanting traditional prayers, helping them prepare for meditation.
Explore the Paro Valley by Helicopter
A wonderful way to see the rich and fascinating Paro Valley
Farmhouse Visit & Home-Cooked Dinner
Visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan dating back to 7th century before meeting with local community members in a nearby farmhouse to enjoying a home-cooked dinner.
Enjoy an excursion into one of the Bhutanese rivers and try your hand at fly-fishing.
Haa Valley Alpine Excursion
Experience the unique nomadic Haa culture in the Bhutan's formerly isolated Haa Valley.
The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, dating from the 7th century and constructed by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsan Gampo.
Meet a Monk Your Own Age
Your children can have the opportunity to meet a monk their own age. 10% of Bhutan's population are monks and they can hear stories of getting up each day before first-light for prayers and their daily routines.
Visit a Buddhist temple for a monk blessing ceremony for an eternity of happiness.
Paro Dzong & National Museum
The Paro Dzong, or Rinpung Dzong as it is otherwise called, looms above the town of Paro. On the hill above the Dzong in the former watchtower you can visit the National Museum.
Explore the highlights of Paro with your guide and driver. From the National Museum and sacred Dzongs to a spectacular valley landscape dotted with farmhouses, Paro is home to many interesting sights worth exploring.
Paro Sunday Market
If you are in Paro on a Sunday then absolutely visit the local market. See a variety of vegetables on offer from 0630 until about 1000, and you can then see the archery ground following your visit.
Punakha Drubchen Festival
Held annually on February in Punakha, local militias dress up as Bhutanese warriors in this festival to re-enact the famous battle between Bhutan and Tibet.
Tea with a local family
Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.
The Haa Valley
The unspoiled Haa Valley is located close to Paro and offers a fantastic day out. Drive over the Chele Pass, Bhutan's highest road, and choose to free-wheel on bikes into the Haa Valley. Explore the local monastery, have a picnic and return to Paro.
Tiger's Nest Monastery
The Tiger's Nest Monastery is spectacular; legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. Set off for the 2-hour walk to the viewpoint before continuing onto the Monastery.
Try your hand at Archery
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen played throughout the Kingdom. Traditional bows are made from bamboo and witnessing an archery competition is an absolute highlight. We can easily arrange for you to have a go should you wish.
Zurig Lhakhang Hike & Archery
Hike through the scenic Paro Valley, visit historic Buddhist fortresses and try your hand at Bhutan's national sports - archery.
Bangkok, Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha, Bumdra & Paro
from $10900 pp 11 nights
- A varied private tour of Bhutan blending equally trekking, culture and authentic experiences seeing the local life - not over-doing any element
- Fantastic itinerary for those that like to keep active, exploring a new country with various means including cycling and trekking
- Have an exclusive private guide and driver throughout giving you complete flexibility
Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Druk Path Trek, Bumdra High Camp & Paro
from $9100 pp 13 nights
- Take two amazing treks in one trip, exploring a beautiful and rural Bhutan
- Get off the main tourist trails and into rural Bhutan
- Enjoy spectacular views of the high Himalayas during your treks
Location & directions
Bumdra High Camp is located 3,800m above sea level on a plateau with fantastic views over Paro valley.
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