I would venture to say that ecuador is the hippie mecca of south america. lots of heads are drawn here because of the beautiful ecosystems, environmental opportunities, it’s very, very cheap, and people for the most part embrace gringos. people might stare at you, but it’s not because they dissaprove; most people outside of cities have never seen a hippie! quito is phat because there are heads all over, and there are lots of really cool restaurants, coffee shops, stores, etc. super cheap, handmade indigenous clothing (like the brightly colored sweaters you see lots of hippies wearing) and wares are available in the city, and the massive outdoor market of otavalo is a 40 minute drive.
Cuenca is a hip, relatively new town in Ecuador, with lots of expats. Good water and inexpensive, with good health care available.