Neily is pleasant enough, but it has no particular draw for tourists, or Ticos for that matter. It is, however, an important transportation hub, with plenty of hotels and restaurants. There is enough going on to keep you busy for a one or two day stop-over, especially if you're a shopper.
The city was founded by a Lebanese immigrant, don Ricardo Neily Jop, who in 1939 acquired a large tract of land in the region and eventually sold it off in parcels to various merchants. The merchants then created new businesses and services, but Ricardo Neily remained one of the most important influences on the city's development, building its first water and electric system in 1953 and its first school in 1955.
After 1945, when the Costa Rican Banana Company began its cultivations in the Valle de Coto, Neily also became a popular center of entertainment for the plantation workers in Golfito.
Neily officially gained city status in 1973.