It is usually a very nice crossing, but there can be exceptions. I was in Rio Sereno when John Downs wenbt through. It took him about ten minutes to exit Costa Rica, and just a couple minutes to buy insurance and get his Sherpa into Panama. There was a short line at Panama immigration, should have been a snap. But the officer on duty was taking every body into his office for about a 20 minute interigation! It took what seemed like a couple hours to get his passport stamped! He said it was his WORST crossing in CA.
I live down the hill in Volvan, so I have used this crossing many times. Last time I was coming from Costa Rica, took just a couple minutes to exit CR, Panama stamped my passport in two minutes, the customs lady was very efficient with my bike papers, so I thought I was done. The police called me back into the police/immigration building, told me to wait, I don't know what for, seems they needed clearance from Paso Canoas, but the computer was down! So I kept waiting and waiting, they kept saying "just five more minutes." Well, a couple hours passed, I told the cops that I had to leave, I didn't want to drive down the hill in the dark. They told me to wait. Finally I told them I had to go, arrest me if they had to, and got on the bike and drove home. I haven't heard anything, and still have absolutely no idea what we were waiting for.