Traveling for your health can combine feeling good with great destinations.
Just as more travelers are visiting foreign lands for affordable medical procedures, the popularity of "wellness destinations"—spas and other retreats where you can nurture your physical, mental, or spiritual well-being—is also growing. Traveler investigated hundreds of wellness destinations worldwide to come up with the following selections. We looked for spas that reflect the local culture, that offer authentic treatments, and that are set in attractive destinations. We avoided chain spas, preferring one-of-a-kind facilities. Our list includes ten spas in North America, ten in South and Central America, ten in Europe, ten in Asia, five in Africa, and five in Oceania. For an in-depth look at three of the spas listed here, see the March 2008 issue of National Geographic Traveler, where you can share the experiences of our writers at an old-time Czech Republic resort, a Colorado meditation retreat, and a Bangkok temple day spa. And see our online glossary of wellness-related terms to better understand this type of travel.