The Spanish relocated the indigenous Guaraní people from their home villages to the reduction sites, where they established mission centers. These generally were modeled on Spanish rural villages, complete with a town square bounded by a church and administrative buildings. Nuestra Señora de Santa Ana was founded in 1633, and is located in the present-day Candelaria Department of the Misiones Province, Argentina.
It is 2 kilometers from Santa Ana, the chief city of the Candelaria Department. The ruins of Nuestra Señora de Santa Ana are not far from the reduccion site of San Ignacio Miní. Like most settlements of the era, the reducciones were located along waterways, which supplied drinking and washing water, and were used for transportation and trade.