LIMA, Peru — Helicopters ferried to safety Wednesday almost 600 tourists stranded for three days near Machu Picchu, and authorities say up to 1,600 travelers remain at Peru's famed citadel following mudslides that cut off the rail route out.

The airlifts will continue throughout the week as more tourists reach the evacuation site high in the Andes mountains by foot, officials said.

Mudslides destroyed sections of the Machu Picchu railway Sunday, the only form of transit in or out of the area. Stranded tourists have faced price-gouging due to scarce food, water and accommodations in Machu Picchu Pueblo, a village of 4,000.

"Everyone is safe, though obviously uncomfortable. They are sleeping in tents, and the food gets there late, but what's important is that they are safe," Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde told The Associated Press.

Choppers have ferried 1,070 people out of the village since Tuesday, including 595 on Wednesday, but Garcia Belaunde says 1,500 to 1,600 tourists remain as more show up each day.

The new arrivals — 250 on Wednesday — reached Machu Picchu by foot on the popular Inca trail, which follows a stone path built by the ancient civilization from their capital, Cuzco, to the mountaintop Inca citadel.

Authorities closed the trail Tuesday, but tourists already on the trail are still completing the four-day trek.

A mudslide on the trail killed an Argentine tourist and her guide Tuesday. In total, slides have killed five people in the Cuzco region.

Tourists marooned in Machu Picchu Pueblo complained that restaurants were inflating their prices, and said many people had to sleep in the town's train station or in the central plaza after running out of money or the hostels filled up.

"It's chaos. We don't have food, we don't have water, we don't have blankets, we can't communicate and the police lack an evacuation plan to put us at ease," Argentine tourist Alicia Casas told Lima's Canal N TV station.

Ruben Baldeon, town spokesman in Machu Picchu Pueblo, said bottles of water were selling for $3.50 — five times the typical price — and electricity to the town had been cut.

Weather conditions kept helicopters from flying to the village Wednesday morning, but they conducted 36 evacuation flights in the afternoon, Garcia Belaunde said.

"It's incredibly difficult to reach. Let's not forget that Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911, almost 400 years after the Spanish arrived," the minister said.

Garcia Belaunde expected airlifts to continue for two or three days.

"It's worrisome. We didn't think it would take this long," Tourism Minister Martin Perez told Lima's RPP radio. "We can evacuate 120 tourists per hour; now the only thing we need is for the climate to help us out a little bit."

Downpours let up Wednesday, but meteorologists forecast moderate rain for the rest of the week.

U.S. Embassy spokesman James Fennell told the AP that more than 60 U.S. citizens, including all stranded American children, were evacuated Wednesday.

About 400 Americans, 700 Argentines, 300 Chileans and 215 Brazilians were among the roughly 2,000 travelers initially stranded. U.S. authorities have sent six helicopters stationed in Peru for drug interdiction and police training to join four Peruvian military and several private choppers in the rescue. (AP)