All our tours have a physical and a comfort level rating attached. The combination of the two allows you to see at a first glance how challenging you can expect the tour to be. As a rule, the physical rating relates to activities involved and altitude, whereas comfort level concerns transport and accommodation. Below we provide some clarifications on our definition for each possible rating. Like any rating ours are subjective and you are strongly advised to read carefully through the entire itinerary prior to booking the tour.
The higher the rating, the fitter you should be to fully enjoy the tour. Generally speaking, all of the tours that are not marked as “active tours” are designed for people with an average level of fitness. However, even pure jeep tours might raise your heartbeat due to high altitude in the mountains.
1 out of 5 = Feel free to relax. You will spend no night at above 3’000 meters. You will never need to go hiking or horse riding. Walking tours in cities might last several hours, but frequent stops are included.
2 out of 5 = With an average fitness level there is no need to prepare for this trip. You might spend some nights at a high altitude of up to 4’000 meters – however, not without prior acclimatization. Some short and easy hikes in the mountains can be included in the tour and you may try out horse riding for a couple hours.
3 out of 5 = With a good level of fitness you will enjoy this tour more. Physical activities like trekking, mountain biking, horse riding or river rafting form an essential part of the trip. In addition to a good level of general fitness it is of advantage if you have already some experience with the type of activities included in the tour – however, this is not required.
4 out of 5 = Physical activities like trekking, mountain biking, horse riding or river rafting are the essence of the trip and these activities can last on average 5 – 7 hours per day, for several consecutive days, with an elevation gain of up to 1500 meters per day. A very good level of general fitness is required as well as significant trekking and/ or mountain biking experience on similar altitudes.
5 out of 5 = Demanding sports activities take place at elevations over 4’000 meters and/ or elevation gain of more than 1’500 meters per day. You should have high-altitude mountaineering experience.
COMFORT LEVEL RATING
The higher the rating, the more comforts of home you may find on your trips. Factors for this rating include the mean of transport, driving hours per day, road condition, weather conditions, choice of food, locals’ standards of living, type of accommodation, access to services, as well as degree and type of involvement with locals. Check your itinerary dossier for detailed information on all these factors for your specific trip.
1 out of 5 = This is an adventure with none of the comforts you are used to from everyday life back home. You might need to put up your own tent, the choice of food is extremely limited and it tastes very different than home. You need to constantly pay attention to hygiene and your health and you will be confronted with very low standards of living. Obeying local customs is essential.
2 out of 5 = You might sleep a few nights in yurts or very simple homestays with drop toilets outside. The weather can be very cold and windy in the mountains – even in Summer. Choice of food is limited and different from home, by following local customs you avoid causing offense, and you might spend many hours per day driving on bad roads.
3 out of 5 = Accommodations generally all have at least shared bathrooms with western toilets and hot shower. You will have some choice of food, all means of transport have air conditioning, and the hours of driving and type of car is considerate of the road condition. If you are traveling in Summer, be prepared for walking on the streets at 40 °C. Respecting locals and their culture will make it easier for you to fit in and enjoy the travel experience.
4 out of 5 = You will be sleeping only in hotels that are equivalent to at least three-star hotels according to Western standards. In Summer, during the day, you will not spend too much time outside in the heat. You will eat in Central Asia’s best restaurants with the variety of local and international cuisine to choose from.
5 out of 5 = You will only sleep in five-star hotels according to Western standards. You will likely not experience any culture shock since you will not be asked to get involved actively in cultural activities. The tour will bring you mostly to places in and nearby major cities.