The tourist hotspots in Dominican Republic are to the east and north of Santo Domingo. I went southwest.
After a morning stroll through Santo Domingo and a stop at the Caves of El Pomier, I drove along the lonesome coast. A dull slog out to Barahona, then the road hugs the coast south with ever-improving scenery. Past the small town Paraiso is Hotel Casablanca, a slick B&B run be a Swiss woman who is an excellent cook. The restaurant choices in Paraiso seem only to be fast food or bar with eat-shattering music, so I was glad I had asked for breakfast and dinner. The rooms are boutique-y, though solar-heated hot water means icy showers on rainy days. The handful of beach chairs on the cliffs are the place to spend the day, while the comfortable patio rules the night. No obnoxious resort crowds; any travelers that make it out this way are almost guaranteed to be interesting but not imposing.
There is not a lot for the tourist to do in Dominican Republic’s southwest. A boat ride at Lago de Oviedo, with birding and caves, was appealing though steady rain kept me off the open boat, and back in my car. Further afield, there are remote parks and beaches for those with time who want to slow way down.