Tegumentary leishmaniasis, a disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania , is a major public health problem in many regions of Latin America. Its diagnosis is difficult given other conditions resembling leishmaniasis lesions and co-occurring in the same endemic areas. A combination of parasitological and molecular methods lead to accurate diagnosis, with the latter being traditionally performed in centralized reference and research laboratories as they require specialized infrastructure and operators. CRISPR-Cas systems have recently driven innovative tools for nucleic acid detection that combine high specificity, sensitivity and speed and are readily adaptable for point-of-care testing. Here, we harnessed the CRISPR-Cas12a system for molecular detection of Leishmania spp., emphasizing medically relevant parasite species circulating in Peru and other endemic areas in Latin America, with L . ( Viannia ) braziliensis being the main etiologic agent of cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis. We developed two assays targeting multi-copy targets commonly used in the molecular diagnosis of leishmaniasis: the 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rDNA), highly conserved across Leishmania species, and a region of kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) minicircles conserved in the L . ( Viannia ) subgenus. Our CRISPR-based assays were capable of detecting down to 5 × 10 −2 (kDNA) or 5 × 10 0 (18S rDNA) parasite genome equivalents/reaction with PCR preamplification. The 18S PCR/CRISPR assay achieved pan- Leishmania detection, whereas the kDNA PCR/CRISPR assay was specific for L . ( Viannia ) detection. No cross-reaction was observed with Trypanosoma cruzi strain Y or human DNA. We evaluated the performance of the assays using 49 clinical samples compared to a kDNA real-time PCR assay as the reference test. The kDNA PCR/CRISPR assay performed equally well as the reference test, with positive and negative percent agreement of 100%. The 18S PCR/CRISPR assay had high positive and negative percent agreement of 82.1% and 100%, respectively. The findings support the potential applicability of the newly developed CRISPR-based molecular tools for first-line diagnosis of Leishmania infections at the genus and L . ( Viannia ) subgenus levels.