For places with the same name, please see La Plata (disambiguation).
La Plata is the capital city of Buenos Aires Province, the main state of Argentina. It is placed on the "pampa húmeda" (wet pampas), 56 kilometres south-east of Buenos Aires city, at 34º 55' south latitude and 57º 17' west longitude.
It covers an area of 940.38 km2 and it's at 9,87 mts. above the sea level.
Its weather is mild, with an annual average temperature of 16.3C and an average rainfall of 1023 mm per year. The average humidity is of 77.6% and the predominant southeast winds blow during four months in the year.
La Plata was designed around a central axis marked by 51st and 53rd Avenues, the main artery of the city where the main buildings and landmarks are located: the Cathedral, City Hall, Moreno Plaza, the Teatro Argentino, the Provincial Legislature and Government around Plaza San Martin. Its urban design was worked on by Pedro Benoit and his prestigious team, who are among the most distinguished in the world. His basic design was a perfect square, cut in half diagonally and with plazas and parks scattered around the city, grand tree-lined boulevards and a forest right near the center of the city.
Buses from Retiro in Buenos Aires leave all the time - cost A$11 and take 1 hour or so.
La Plata is an easy city to navigate because of its grid system. You can easily walk from one side of the city to another within 45 minutes. Taxis are plentiful and cheap. They can be hailed on the street, but be observant; the diagonal avenues that cut through La Plata can be confusing and taxi drivers will often take advantage of that to rack up the price on the meter.
The city buses, or the micro, are very cheap and reliable. Within one city zone (the square-grid downtown counts as one zone) the bus costs 1,10 Argentine pesos ($.25 USD). It will cost 1,90 pesos to travel into the suburbs. You must specify the amount you are paying upon entering the bus. If you are confused as to how much you should pay, ask the bus driver. Buses only take coins, which are very hard to come by in Argentina. You can also buy a prepaid bus card at any news stand for 19 pesos. You must also hale the bus as it passes the bus stop or it will continue its route. For a map of bus routes, click here.
The Natural History Museum is the highlight of the city - contains numerous (some huge) dinosaur skeletons, a detailed exploration of the numerous pre-Columbian cultures in south America, and other world class exhibits. The museum isn't quite up there with its cousins in New York or London - but it is not far off. A$9. Located in the green parks north of the city centre.
The Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes has recently reopened after its recent refurbishment. Small exhibition space displaying temporary contemporary art exhibitions. Ave 51 near Plaza San Martin. Free.