Neiva is the capital of the Huila department of Colombia.
The city was hit by a number of bomb attacks in 2010 and 2011. Neiva was situated in the zone of influence of guerrilla movements like FARC-EP. As of June 2014, the city was no longer subject to such violence. As always, research the current situation before travelling.
- from Bogotá COP$28,000, 5 hours
- from Villavieja COP$5,000, 1 hour
- from San Agustin COP$30,000, 5 hours
- 1 Santander Central Park. Plaza in city center where you can people watch, relax, and be around office buildings and historic churches.
- 2 Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Neiva. City landmark.
- 3 Iglesia Colonial. An older and colonial-style church.
- 4 Malecon del Rio Magdalena. Riverwalk along the steamy Magdalena jungle river. Coffee kiosks, plus an observation deck with a rather spooky humanoid face called the tower of Mohan to check out for views of the area. You may also be able to take a boat ride. Just take care for your safety and disregard trash.
- 5 Gaitana Chief Monument (Cacica Gaitana Monument). A very abstract monument, you'll know it when you see it with horses and people suspended in the air. There may also be some little iguanas running around.
- 6 Monumento Quinto Centenario, in Plaza Civica Las Libertadores. A monument regarding the history of Neiva.
- 7 Museo Arqueológico Regional (adjacent to Jose Estacio Rivera Convention Center and Metro store). 08ː30-12ː00 and 14ː00-18ː00 M-F, closed Sa-Su. Some ethnological exhibits, pre-Columbian megaliths and juipas and that kind of stuff.
- 8 Edificio Nacional, Calle 7 (couple blocks east of Santander Plaza). Architecturally-striking building, kind of arabesque like.
- 9 Jardín Botánico de Neiva 'Bertha Hernández de Ospina' Park. may just be open Sat 08ː00-17ː00. Peaceful swampy, marshland setting with lagoons and boardwalks where you can take photos and observe birds, lily pads, insects, etc. Speaking of insects though, watch out so you don't get eaten alive. And be mindful of your security.
The town hosts the San Pedro folklore festival each year around late June and early July.
- 1 Playa Juncal & Parque Juncal (Club Los Lagos) (about 20 km south of Neiva). usually W-Su 08ː00-17ː00, closed M-Tu during season. Water park and zoo/amusement park (i.e. pools, ziplines, ropes course, climbing wall, dino statues everywhere, etc).
- 2 Huila Afrika Salvaje (a few km north of Neiva on Hwy 45), ☏ +313 697-9603. hard to tell if it is open. A very odd park with African and Christian themes not the least of which being a gigantic crucifixion statue lying upright on the ground. Also supposedly has some animals, paintball, horseback riding, ATVs, and a lagoon with peddle boat rentals.
- 3 Sur Andino Casino. A good place to go when you want to throw money away.
- 1 Centro Comercial Santa Lucia Plaza. 10ː00-22ː00 daily. For all your mall shopping needs.
This city has made famous by the Tamales and Asado Huilense Huilense Beef and the different kind of bread or Biscochos, the most preferred is the Biscocho de Achira.
El Patio is a great cultural center with a refreshing athmosphere. You may have a drink or a meal while listening to live music. They also have nice temporary exhibitions.
- 1 Backpackers & Travelers Hostal Neiva - Desierto de la Tatacoa, Cra 1C No. 47, ☏ +57 316 2342919. Cheapy place to stay but actually quite nice with clean accommodations and breakfast (eggs, fruit) and guided tours to the Tatacoa Desert. LGBTQ friendly. COP 38300.
- 2 Hotel Chicalá, Calle 6 (one block south of Plaza Civica Las Libertadores), ☏ +57 8 8713070. Has a nice colonial and dark wood interior look to it. Plus an inviting pool and wifi and restaurant/bar. Pets okay. COP 149368.
- Hotel Neiva Plaza, Calle 7 No. 4-62, ☏ +57 8 8710806. Nice views of Santander Park. Big pool, gym, spa, restaurant/bar, breakfast, wifi, a/c. Seems like a good deal for the price. COP 134048.
Spend a night near Villavieja in the Tatacoa Desert.