Neiva is best known for the spectacular rock formations and valleys of the Tatacoa Desert, located an hour's drive to the north of the city. With 350,000 residents, it is the 20th largest city in the country and among the most important cities in the country's south alongside Pasto.
Neiva was formerly within the zone of influence of guerrilla movements like FARC-EP prior to the country's 2016 peace agreement. In 2011, the city was hit by a number of bomb attacks, which authorities attributed to urban militias of the FARC. No deaths were reported in the attacks, and the situation has calmed in the last decade.
Coomotor and Cootranshuila are the two traditional bus lines with the most departures to and from Neiva.
Benito Salas Airport (IATA: NVA, ICAO: SKNV) has daily connections to Bogotá with Avianca, Lan Colombia and EasyFly.
As with most all of Colombia, no train lines connect with Neiva.
Spending a night under the stars in the Tatacoa Desert in the nearby city of Villavieja or at least a day exploring its dazzling ochre and burnt orange rock formations is a well-attended opportunity.
The town hosts the San Pedro Folklore Festival, also known as the Festival of Bambuco, each year in late June which showcases dance and music of the region.
When not enjoying the parades in June, you can visit Huila Afrika Salvaje which is a nice park with many wild animal for you to enjoy.
There is Playa Juncal and El Juncal.
This city has been made famous by tamales and asado huilense (Huila Beef) and the many varieties of sweet bread or bizcochos, the most preferred of which is the achira. In addition to achiras, local confectionaries also produce natural chocolate from cacao harvested in the Huila Department, in additional to an array of sweet breads and empanadas.
A common street food is the arepa rellena, or stuffed arepa, which tends to be much thicker than a traditional arepa and usually filled with cheese and meat.
Huila is home to a few native fruits that are difficult to find outside of the region, including cholupa, closely related to passion fruit and related passion vines. Cholupa juice can be found in most restaurants serving fresh juices. Anón is another regional fruit similar to the chirimoya and soursop that can be found in the city.
Guarapo, or sugarcane juice, is another local favorite produced in a traditional method in a number of guaraperías, particularly those located along Carrera 1F near Calle 7 and 8. The traditional production method uses a horse-powered mill to extract the juice from sugarcane stalks.
Neiva and its surroundings are generally safe and enjoy a much more agreeable security climate than a decade ago. General safety precautions associated with visiting any locality in Colombia are recommended while traveling in Neiva.
The United States State Department does not list Neiva and the Huila department at large among the regions to be avoided for "non-essential travel" per its April 2019 update. Similarly, the British government's travel advice does not identify Neiva or Huila as areas with heightened security recommendations.