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Ureparapara, Vanuatu

Ureparapara (sometimes shortened to parapara ) is the third-largest in the Banks Islands group in northern Vanuatu. The island is among the most beautiful and memorable harbor entries in the South Pacific, being a volcanic caldera that has collapsed on one side, creating a long harbor between encircling 1,000-foot headlands. Its small population is infrequently visited, mainly by yacht cruisers and a few small cruise ships. The inhabitants are therefore generally excited and pleased to receive visitors, and respond with greetings in the form of folkloric dancing. They speak one of two indigenous languages. The lagoon offers excellent snorkeling, and the interior of the island contains some very ancient structures called Nowons and Votwos that are stone-and-earthworks remains of prior communities. These are still used for ceremonial purposes in grade-taking sacrificial ceremonies. The structures are tentatively listed for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.