New sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe-reverse geometry U-Pb detrital zircon data establish the timing of onset of foreland basin subsidence in the Magallanes basin and the age of the Patagonian Andes in southernmost Chile. Initiation of the Magallanes foreland basin is signaled by the abrupt occurrence of sandstone of the Punta Barrosa Formation, loosely dated as upper Albian-Cenomanian from biofacies assemblages. Detrital zircon analyses demonstrate that the Punta Barrosa Formation is not older than 92 ?? 1 Ma and that the linked Andean belt started forming in the Turonian.