A Caribbean workhorse of sun and sand, the southeast is synonymous with go-big-or-go-home tourism and carries the weight of the Dominican Republic’s most dramatic beaches and turquoise seas on its deeply tanned shoulders. Sprawling resort developments, some like city-states unto themselves, line much of the beachfront from Punta Cana to Bávaro, offering families, couples and the young and restless alike a hassle-free Caribbean holiday in some of the most idyllic environs in the region. But there is life beyond Punta Cana. Less-crowded beach towns like Bayahibe and Juan Dolio offer only slightly less dramatic seascapes but sands that go unshared with the masses. Isolated getaways like Playa Limón, beyond the sugar plantations and inland mountains to the north, showcase a different and worthwhile side of the southeast if you can tear yourself away from the buffets long enough to take the rewarding journeys required to make their acquaintance.